California has always seen some of the nation’s worst wildfires, however, in recent years, they’ve grown drastically in intensity. Now, the coastal state is experiencing its largest wildfire this year. Already, the wildfire, named the McKinney Fire, has grown so big that the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s satellites can clearly see the blaze from space.
Imagery shows gray plumes of smoke filling the atmosphere, blocking out clouds and other large landmarks. In speaking about the Calfornia wildfire, the NOAA said, “California’s #McKinneyFire showed explosive growth on Saturday. The #wildfire has become California’s largest fire of 2022, scorching more than 50,000 acres as thousands of residents are forced to evacuate.”
According to Fox News, the California wildfire has since grown. Now, it is currently burning across 55,400 acres of California and trailing through Klamath National Park. So far, unfavorable weather conditions have hindered first responders’ efforts to quell the fire, leaving it at 0% containment. Worsening the situation is the ongoing megadrought that has plagued California and other Western states for years.
The McKinney Fire has grown so big that evacuations are taking place left and right. Sadly, the massive blaze has already claimed the lives of two unidentified individuals. Per the outlet, officials found their bodies in a car that fell in McKinney’s path.
Additionally, the growing number of evacuations has resulted in a handful of burglaries. Recently, two people faced arrest for related charges in a McKinney Fire evacuation zone.
California Hikers Forced to Evacuate Pacific Crest Trail Due to Growing Wildfire
Though the McKinney Fire only ignited on Friday, it has already achieved massive rates of destruction across Northern California. Having broken out in Siskiyou Country, the blaze soon grew so large that officials had to force thru-hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail to evacuate.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office aided in evacuation efforts. Altogether, they escorted 60 people off of the endangered trail.
Meanwhile, evacuations in local communities continue to take place. In a statement, the sheriff’s office said of Jackson County overall that they’re “getting smoke and ash from the #McKinneyFire, but AT THIS TIME there is no direct threat to our community.”
That said, the rapid growth of the California wildfire urged officials to emphasize that “Fire conditions can change any minute so BE READY.”
While the McKinney wildfire most prevalently burns along the California-Oregon border, evacuations are also taking place farther southwest. Residents in Yreka have also fled their homes ahead of the fire’s relentless trek.
Amid evacuations, the U.S. Forest Service said, “Yreka Police Department has issued an Evacuation Order for the area west of Fairchild Street and Shasta Street to include Oakridge Mobile Estates.” The Forest Service issued these orders as they deemed it necessary for this particular group of residents to have additional time to evacuate.