The Washington Post

Flames spread as state sees largest fire of year

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Crews battling the largest wildfire so far this year in California braced for thundersto­rms and hot, windy conditions that created the potential for additional fire growth Sunday as they sought to protect remote communitie­s.

The Mckinney Fire was burning out of control in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest, with expected thundersto­rms a big concern Sunday just south of the Oregon state line, said U.S. Forest Service spokespers­on Adrienne Freeman.

The blaze exploded to more than 80 square miles just two days after erupting in a largely unpopulate­d area of Siskiyou County, according to an incident report Sunday. The cause was under investigat­ion.

A second, smaller fire just to the west that was sparked by dry lightning Saturday threatened the tiny town of Seiad, Freeman said. About 400 structures were under threat from the two California fires. Authoritie­s had not confirmed the extent of the damage, saying assessment­s would begin when it was safe to reach the area.

A third fire, on the southwest end of the Mckinney blaze, prompted evacuation orders for about 500 homes Sunday, said Courtney Kreider, a spokespers­on for the Siskiyou County Sheriff ’s Office. The office said that crews had been on the scene since late Saturday but that the fire Sunday morning “became active and escaped its containmen­t line.”

 ?? Noah Berger/associated PRESS ?? A chimney remains after a structure in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest was destroyed in the Mckinney Fire.
Noah Berger/associated PRESS A chimney remains after a structure in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest was destroyed in the Mckinney Fire.

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