McKinney Fire erupts in western Siskiyou County

McKinney Fire erupts in western Siskiyou County

The McKinney Fire has erupted in western Siskiyou County, prompting evacuations. Winds from thunderstorms fanned the McKinney Fire in western Siskiyou County. Causing it to spread to more than 30,000 acres in 24 hours.

The Klamath National Forest fire started around 2:15 p.m. Friday and had reached zero containment by mid-afternoon Saturday.


McKinney Fire Ranger District –

Brush, tall grass, and trees were on fire in the forest’s Oak Knoll Ranger District. Where the fire began west of the Walker Creek Bridge on the Klamath River’s south side. As air attack planes flew overhead, the flames jumped Highway 96.

McKinney Fire

Two very large air tankers and two smaller air tankers assisted firefighters on Saturday. Highway 96 was closed from Highway 263 to Scott River Road, about 2 miles west of Interstate 5. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office was updating its Facebook page with warnings to residents to leave the fire zone.

Klamath National Forest –

On Saturday afternoon, Klamath National Forest spokeswoman Caroline Quintanilla said the fire was estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000 acres. “We had a lot of lightning strikes Friday night but not a lot of precipitation. And that’s part of what’s been driving this fire,” she explained.
Quintanilla stated that because conditions were changing so quickly, she didn’t have an accurate map of the fire’s boundaries.

I don’t have a perimeter map as there’s no specific direction it’s moving in,” Quintanilla explained. “It varies greatly. Things were not settle into a consistent pattern.” She arrived at the Forest Service headquarters before 7 a.m. Saturday to find a massive plume of smoke to the west, a dramatic sight witnessed by everyone in town.

McKinney Fire 2


McKinney Fire produced pyro cumulus –

The McKinney Fire produced a pyro cumulus cloud Friday, according to Misty Firmin of the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon. “I’ve heard conflicting reports. It was 39,000 feet, according to one of my coworkers. Another stated that it was 45,000 feet “Firmin stated.

She explained that pyrocumulus clouds form in the same way that thunderheads do. “When a fire burns hot and strong enough, it can create its own atmosphere. It becomes so hot that it produces its own cloud, which grows and becomes a pyrocumulus “She stated. Infrared, thermal imaging detected heat signatures in the plume, according to Quintanilla.

Firefighters were dealing with extremely high temperatures as a Red Flag Warning for lightning was in effect, according to fire officials. Firefighters reported smoke coming from the Klamath River Post Office. And trees down across the road near Walker Bridge on Friday night.
People on social media described a fire tornado that occurred in the area of the fire around midnight.

Firefighters prioritised the evacuation of residents –

At this point, we’re not even attempting to contain the situation. “We’re working to catch up to the fire, evacuate people, and make sure everyone is safe,” she said from the US Forest Service office in Yreka.

The McKinney Fire was not the only source of concern for the firefighters. The China2 Fire and the Evans Fire both started on Friday. And had burned together for an estimated 300 to 350 acres by Saturday, according to forest officials. That fire was about 2 to 3 miles west of Seiad.

“Resources are limited, however,” fire officials said, “because the majority of available personnel are aggressively working to slow the fast-moving McKinney Fire.” The McKinney Fire grew significantly from Friday night to Saturday morning due to winds from late-evening thunderstorms. Saturday morning, the fire was about 18,000 acres in size before it grew even larger.

McKinney Fire 4

McKinney Fire was about 12 miles west of Yreka –

A firefighter reported to fire managers on his radio at 1:30 p.m. Saturday that a 35-mph wind was gusting from the southwest, accompanied by rain.

Deputies were busy going door-to-door in affected areas on Saturday, informing residents to evacuate. Residents in Western Siskiyou County can go to zonehaven.com and enter their address to find out which evacuation zone they are in.

The McKinney Fire was about 12 miles west of Yreka as of late Saturday morning. At the time, evacuation orders were issued for areas west of Yreka, with one zone spanning Interstate 5 north of the city.

California Incident Management Team –

According to officials, a California Incident Management Team was in Yreka on Saturday for briefings and will take control on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Crest Trail Association advised hikers in western Siskiyou County to evacuate to the nearest town on Saturday. “Extreme fire behaviour and dangerous conditions are being caused by weather conditions, including lots of lightning,” the association stated on its website.
The group was spreading the word that the Forest Service had closed a 110-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail in southern Oregon, from the Etna Summit to the Mt. Ashland Campground.

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