2 others found dead as massive California wildfires continue to rage

Two more people were found dead in the burn zone of a major Northern California wildfire, bringing the death toll to four in the state’s biggest fire of the year, authorities said Tuesday.

Search teams discovered the bodies Monday in separate residential areas along Highway 96, one of the only roads in and out of a remote area near the state’s border with Oregon. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“This brings the confirmed death toll to four,” the sheriff’s statement said. “At this time, no people have not been counted.” Other details were not immediately disclosed.

The remains of two people were also found Sunday inside a charred vehicle in the driveway of a home near the small unincorporated community of the Klamath River that suffered extensive damage in the McKinney Fire, officials said. the sheriff’s office said.

That fire has burned nearly 228 square kilometers and is the largest of several wildfires burning in the Klamath National Forest near the California-Oregon border.

Mike Lindbery, a spokesman for the fire’s incident management team, said: “It is tragic that the fire has flared up and moved so quickly and has essentially claimed the life of a community. And that’s what happened in the Klamath River area.”

‘Pray for us’

When the fire broke out over a weekend in California, Franklin Thom fled his home in the small city of Yreka, where he grew up on the edge of the California national forest.

He arrives at a shelter with his daughter, medicine, some clothes, and his shower shoes. Unlike some of the others, he was told he escaped with his house still standing.

“Pray for us,” said Thom, 55.

VIEW | McKinney Fire wipes out California homes:

California residents describe massive damage from wildfires in Mt. McKinney

A resident of Siskiyou County, California, near the border with Oregon, surveyed the rapidly unfolding wildfire landscape and listed many homes and structures that had been wiped out.

More than 100 homes and other buildings have burned in the McKinney Fire since it broke out last Friday. Rain helped firefighters as they worked to control the spread of the blaze, but authorities said it continued to burn.

The cause of the McKinney fire is under investigation.

A smaller fire near the small community of Happy Camp forced evacuations and road closures as it burned out of control on Tuesday. There are still many fires raging in the western United States, threatening thousands of homes.

Fire continues in Montana, Idaho, Nebraska

In northwest Montana, a fire that started Friday near the town of Elmo on the Flathead Indian Reservation has destroyed several structures, but authorities said they were not immediately aware of housing. or not.

Fire officials said the blaze was 66 square kilometers on Tuesday, with a 10 percent containment capacity. Some residents were forced to flee on Monday as afternoon winds blew into the fires.

The Moose Fire in Idaho has burned more than 220 square kilometers in the Salmon-Challis National Forest while threatening homes, mining and fisheries near the town of Salmon. According to the National Center for Interagency Coordination, the figure is 23%.

In this photo provided by the Nebraska Forest Service, a bicycle is seen underneath a downed power pole as the Carter Canyon wildfire rages in western Nebraska on Monday. Fire crews battling blazes that destroyed several homes looked up to the sky on Tuesday as forecasters warned of thunderstorms. (Nebraska Forest Service / The Associated Press)

A wildfire raging in northwestern Nebraska led to evacuations and destroyed or damaged several homes near the small city of Gering. The Carter Canyon fire started Saturday when two separate fires merged. It was more than 30% contained as of Tuesday.

‘We know the weather’

The McKinney Fire in California has grown to become the state’s largest wildfire so far this year after it was ignited by weekend winds of 50 km/h.

Cloudy weather and sporadic rain continued to help firefighters on Tuesday as bulldozers managed to circle the burning city of Yreka, California, a small and beautiful tourist destination. Fire officials said crews carving fire marks in steep, rough terrain also made good progress.

The fire broke out about 6.4 kilometers from the center of Yreka city, which has a population of about 7,500 people.

“We’ve got the weather,” said Todd Mack, a U.S. Forest Service incident fire commander. “We’ve got the horsepower. And we’re chasing it.”

But lightning over the weekend also sparked a number of smaller fires near the McKinney blaze. And despite the necessary humidity, the forests and fields in the region remain arid.

VIEW | Wildfires still exist in Northern California:

Firefighters continue to battle California fires

The fast-spreading McKinney Fire in Northern California has burned more than 30,000 acres in the Klamath National Forest near the state’s border with Oregon. The situation is further complicated by thunderstorms that bring erratic winds that can send flames flying in unexpected directions.

Among those waiting for the fire at Yreka’s shelter on Monday was Paisley Bamberg, 33. She arrived a few months ago from West Columbia, SC, and has been living in a motel with her six children, about the same age. 15 to one year old. – the twins rushed, when she was told to evacuate.

“I started throwing things on top of my truck,” she said, noting that she had to leave a lot of things behind.

Bamberg said she had just been hired at an Arby’s restaurant and wondered if it had survived the fire.

“There may not be much there when we get back,” she said. “I don’t know if I have a job. The kids are supposed to start school and I don’t know if the school is still standing.”

Bamberg said she’s trying to keep her spirits up. “I have six little people who depend on me. I can’t fall or falter.”

‘I never thought it would happen’

About 2,500 people have been ordered to evacuate, but Thom said he knows many people have stayed in Yreka.

“There are still a lot of people in town who refuse to leave,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have a vehicle and can’t go. It’s really sad.”

Thom has lived in Yreka all his life but said this is the first time he has been threatened by bushfires.

Three plumes of smoke from the McKinney fire in California were seen early Saturday. (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection / Cal Fire / The Associated Press)

“I never thought it would happen. I thought, ‘We are invincible,'” he said. “This is making me a liar.”

Climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make extreme weather and wildfires more frequent and destructive, scientists say.

The United States Forest Service has closed a 177-kilometer stretch of the popular Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California and southern Oregon. Authorities helped 60 pedestrians in that area evacuate Saturday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.

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