California’s McKinney Fire turns deadly as 2 bodies found inside burned vehicle

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Crews responding to the massive McKinney Fire in northern California have found two deceased individuals inside a car that was burned in its path, officials announced Monday. 

The blaze, which has become California’s largest this year after erupting Friday in Siskiyou County, has burned at least 52,498 acres and remains 0% contained as of early Monday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service. 

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said around 10 a.m. Sunday, “fire personnel located two deceased individuals inside a vehicle that was burned in the path of the McKinney Fire.” 

“The vehicle was located in a residential driveway along Doggett Creek Road, which is off of Highway 96, west of the Klamath River,” police added in a statement. 

CALIFORNIA BATTLES WORST WILDFIRE YET THIS YEAR 

The charred remnants of a car towing a trailer that burned when the McKinney Fire jumped the Klamath River remain on a highway in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, Calif., on July 31

The charred remnants of a car towing a trailer that burned when the McKinney Fire jumped the Klamath River remain on a highway in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, Calif., on July 31

The U.S. Forest Service’s Klamath National Forest office said overnight that a “heavy smoke inversion over the McKinney Fire helped limit growth [Sunday], but also kept aircraft mostly grounded.” 

“Crews worked above Fort Jones and west of Yreka to cut off the fire’s progress,” it also said. 

Angela Crawford leans against a fence as a wildfire called the McKinney fire burns a hillside above her home in Klamath National Forest, Calif., on Saturday, July 30.

Angela Crawford leans against a fence as a wildfire called the McKinney fire burns a hillside above her home in Klamath National Forest, Calif., on Saturday, July 30.
(AP/Noah Berger))

Around 2,000 residents remain under evacuation orders, California officials say.

The region — including parts of Oregon — remains under a Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch early this week.  

Flames from the McKinney Fire burn beyond firefighters in Klamath National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, July 31.

Flames from the McKinney Fire burn beyond firefighters in Klamath National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, July 31.
(AP/Noah Berger)

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“Heat, instability, and increasing moisture along with multiple low-pressure impulses moving through this afternoon/evening and again Tuesday are expected to bring isolated to scattered thunderstorms and abundant lightning on dry fuels to the area,” the National Weather Service said Monday. 

“This afternoon and evening the lightning threat will be greatest from the Cascades eastward as well as over western Siskiyou, Josephine and western Jackson Counties,” it added. “On Tuesday, the lightning threat will be greatest from the Cascades east, Siskiyous south and into southwestern Jackson County.” 



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