Fast-moving wildfire in northern California forces residents to evacuate

WASHINGTON – The fast-moving McKinney Fire in northern California near the Oregon border has forced 2,000 residents to evacuate and has destroyed homes and critical infrastructure since it broke out on Friday.

Already the largest blaze in California so far this year, the McKinney Fire in Siskiyou County has scorched 30,000 to 40,000 acres. It was about 1% contained as of Saturday (July 30), according to the latest data shared by officials.

More than two decades of drought and rising temperatures, exacerbated by climate change, have made California more vulnerable than ever to wildfires.

The two most devastating years on record were in 2020 and 2021 based on the of acres burned. Siskiyou County, home to Klamath National Forest, has a population of about 44,000, according to the US Census Bureau.

An emergency declaration made by California Governor Gavin Newsom helps resident access federal aid and unlocks state resources. A red flag warning, indicating dangerous fire conditions, was in effect.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries. This was the second major wildfire faced by California this season after the Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park. That fire is now 59% contains and has charred over 19,000 acres.

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