On Sunday, firefighters fighting the biggest wildfire that California has seen so far this year prepared for the possibility of thunderstorms as well as hot and windy weather that might lead to increased fire development. Their goal was to safeguard isolated areas from the blaze.
According to Adrienne Freeman, a spokesman for the United States Forest Service, the McKinney Fire was blazing out of control in the Klamath National Forest in Northern California on Sunday, and the possibility of thunderstorms just south of the state line in Oregon was a major cause for worry.
Freeman said that the fuel beds were very dry and that they may spontaneously explode from the lightning. These thunderstorm cells are accompanied by violent unpredictable winds that have the potential to blow fire in all directions.
According to a study that was made public on Sunday, the extent of the fire quickly grew to include more than 80 square miles (207 square kilometres) after only two days of its initial outbreak in a mainly unpopulated region of Siskiyou County. The inquiry into what caused it has begun.
The fire burned trees along California Roadway 96, and the charred remnants of a pickup vehicle were found in one of the lanes of the highway after it passed through. A dense cloud of smoke hung over the region, as flames ripped up the slope in plain view of the residences.
According to Freeman, a second, smaller fire was threatening the community of Seiad, which was located immediately to the west and was started by dry lightning on Saturday. There were around 400 buildings that were at danger due to the two fires in California. The amount of the damage has not been verified by the authorities as of yet; they have said that evaluations would begin as soon as it is safe to reach the region.
According to Courtney Kreider, a spokesman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, the evacuation of around 500 houses was ordered on Sunday as a result of a third fire that was located on the southwestern edge of the McKinney wildfire. The office said that firefighters had been sent to the area of the incident since late Saturday; nonetheless, the fire “grew aggressive and slipped its containment line” early Sunday morning.
“and they’re still turning up to work so, (a) really committed team,” she added, referring to the fact that some individuals working for the sheriff’s office had been told to evacuate their homes because of the flames. According to what she stated, a deputy’s childhood house was destroyed by fire on Friday.
Some inhabitants of McKinney decided to remain put as the fire approached, while others obeyed authorities’ warnings to evacuate the area.
Approximately 2,000 people living in the Yreka region were given instructions to evacuate, and Larry and Nancy Castle were two of those people. They departed on Saturday with some of their most valued items, including Larry’s motorbike, and brought their dogs with them to stay with their daughter in the area of Mount Shasta.
After seeing the dramatic increase in the number of big fires in recent years, Larry Castle said that he was not going to take any risks.
According to what he said to the Sacramento Bee, “You look back at the Paradise fire and the Santa Rosa fire and you know that this stuff is very, very dangerous.”
After spreading into the surrounding forest in northwest Montana, a fire that began in grasslands close to the hamlet of Elmo had grown to around 17 square miles (44 square km) in size. According to Sara Rouse, a spokesman for the interagency team that was assigned to the fire, crews were working around the borders of the fire on Sunday, and planes were scheduled to continue making water and retardant drops to assist slow the fire’s growth. According to what she indicated, we can anticipate high temperatures and irregular winds.
A portion of Highway 28 that had been blocked between Hot Springs and Elmo has been reopened, and motorists have been warned to keep an eye out for police and firefighters while they work in the area. Rouse said that visibility was limited in the region.
Near the town of Salmon in Idaho, the Salmon-Challis National Forest has been ravaged by the Moose Fire, which has consumed more than 75 square miles (196 square kilometres) of forested area. By Sunday morning, it had been restricted to a 21 percent extent. In a video update posted on Facebook, the planning operations section head on the fire, Pila Malolo, said that hot and dry conditions were predicted to linger throughout the day on Sunday. The officials said that they anticipated the fire to expand in the steep and rough land on the south side of the fire.