McKinney Fire In Siskiyou County Forces Evacuations

Due to windy conditions and other extreme weather, a wildfire in far Northern California that started at around 2 p.m. on Friday has grown to an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 acres in less than 24 hours, officials said. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, the McKinney Fire, which was burning about 9 miles from the Siskiyou County seat of Yreka, had produced a sizable cumulus cloud and prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to issue a county-wide state of emergency.

By Saturday night, all city residents west of Interstate 5 were subject to evacuation orders, and evacuation alerts were in effect for all residents in western Yreka. Around 2,000 people were reportedly ordered to evacuate because of the fire earlier on Saturday afternoon, according to the governor’s office. The fire, which is raging in Klamath National Forest close to the Oregon border, is being complicated by thunderstorms and erratic winds in the area, according to officials.

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“There are still thunderstorms in the vicinity, which means there will be lightning and unstable winds. On Saturday afternoon, Caroline Quintanilla, a public relations officer for the Klamath Nation Forest, stated, “I don’t think we’re anticipating much precipitation. The dry lightning is alarming.  By Saturday night, there was 1% containment of the fire, and on Sunday and Monday there were fire weather warnings for the region. Yreka resident Kiko Gomez told me over the phone on Saturday afternoon that “it has been a crazy time period.” I’m a little anxious about others as well as myself.

After lived in the neighborhood for more than ten years, Gomez said this is the closest a fire has ever been. He departed Yreka on Saturday night. Climate scientist Daniel Swain reported on Twitter that the wildfire displayed extraordinary behavior by producing a pyro cumulonimbus cloud, or plume, that rose to a height of 50,000 feet and carried smoke above the clouds. The Bay Area was not anticipated to be affected by the smoke from the fire, which was currently flowing northeast.

East of Yreka-based Siskiyou County Supervisor Brandon Criss claimed to have pals who are packing up and leaving the city. At his residence in Dorris, which is close to the Oregon border, he claimed to be able to smell the heavy smoke. He said, “Over the past several moments, the fire has expanded exponentially. He noted that the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday will probably result in the county being placed under a state of emergency. There is no information on what started the fire. The proclamation of a state of emergency by the Newsom administration will facilitate the expediting of resources.

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