McKinney Fire: Gov. Newsom Declares State of Emergency as Wildfire Burns Thousands of Acres

by Emily Morgan
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After the McKinney fire burned over 30,000 acres throughout California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency. Since it began, the raging fire has destroyed homes, forced evacuations, and threatened infrastructure for nearly 2,000 Californians.

Meanwhile, the US Forest Service is fighting the blazing wildfire. It was first ignited by dry fuels, extreme drought conditions, high temperatures, winds, and lightning storms.

The fire, dubbed the McKinney fire, started on Friday in Siskiyou County near the California-Oregon border. The county has a population of just about 44,000,

According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, local officials announced a mandatory evacuation order for the county. Officials told residents in the evacuation area to leave immediately.

In addition, a red flag warning, which indicates dangerous fire hazards, is currently in place. Mereoroglists are also calling for lightning in the area, and fire managers were “expecting a very dynamic day [Saturday] on the fire as predicted weather is expected to be problematic for the firefighters,” according to an update.

On Saturday morning, firefighters also had to adjust their plan of attack to shift their focus “from an offensive perimeter control effort” to more of a defensive standing to help evacuate residents.

According to the Governor, firefighters have contained an additional two other fires burning in Siskiyou County, the China 2 and Evans fires. As a result, they’ve burned more than 300 acres, prompting evacuation warnings for more than 200 residents.

Additionally, calls for a state emergency will hopefully allow the state to use specific resources. These resources could enable firefighters from other states to help crews battling the California fires.

Conditions set to get much worse for fight fighters as they battle McKinney fire

And it looks like the state will need as much help as possible. As of Saturday evening, the U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire is just 1% contained.

“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 announced Saturday evening.

According to state officials, they’re evacuating residents due to the fire’s proximity and to give residents additional time to evacuate safely. However, they added that those under an evacuation order should leave their homes immediately.

They added that residents in other areas should prepare appropriately should there be an evacuation order.

Unfortunately, meteorologists are reporting that weather conditions in the area won’t get much better. On Sunday, firefighters expect single-digit humidity, lightning, scorching temperatures, and gusting winds. The Forest Service also expects that “fire growth will spread in all directions.

Deputies were busy Saturday going door-to-door in affected areas, telling residents to leave their homes. Siskiyou County residents can go to zonehaven.com and type in their address to see what evacuation zone they’re under.

Outsider.com