Two Bodies Were Found in a Burned Car in a Wildfire Zone in California!
Two bodies were found inside a charred vehicle in a driveway in the wildfire zone of a raging California blaze that is among several burning in the western U.S. amid hot, dry, and gusty conditions that boost the danger that the fires will keep growing, officials said Monday.
The McKinney Fire started Friday in the Klamath National Forest in Northern California, near the border with Oregon. By Sunday, it had grown to cover more than 82 square miles (212 square km). It is California’s biggest wildfire so far this year, and officials don’t know what started it.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the car and bodies were found on Sunday in the driveway of a house near the small town of Klamath River.
In one neighborhood, where a brick chimney stood on Sunday surrounded by rubble and burned cars, the fire gave off an eerie orange-brown glow. Along State Route 96, flames burned down trees and raced through hillsides close to homes.
On Sunday, firefighters on the ground were trying to stop the fire from spreading to the town of Yreka, which has about 7,500 people and is about 4 miles (6.4 km) away.
A second, smaller fire in the region that was sparked by dry lightning Saturday threatened the tiny California community of Seiad. Overall, officials said about 400 structures were threatened by the two fires.
Authorities have not confirmed the extent of the damages far in the areas that have burned, saying assessments would begin when it was safe to go inside them.
A third fire, which was on the southwest end of the McKinney blaze, prompted evacuation orders for around 500 homes Sunday, said Courtney Kreider, a spokesperson with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.
The office said crews had been on the scene of the fire since late Saturday but by the following morning it “became active and escaped its containment line.” The childhood home of one sheriff’s deputy burned on Friday, Kreider said,
Thunderstorms that brought barrages of lightning and threatened to spark new fires in dry fuel beds in Northern California were expected to move out of the area starting Monday, forecasters said.
In northwest Montana, a fire that started in grasslands near the town of Elmo had spread into the forest by Sunday and covered about 17 square miles (44 square km).
Crews worked along the edges of the fire, and aircraft were expected to continue to make water and retardant drops to help slow the fire’s advance, said Sara Rouse, a spokesperson for the interagency team assigned to the fire. High temperatures and erratic winds that can help fan flames were predicted, she said.
The Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho has burned more than 75 square miles (196 square km) of wooded land near the town of Salmon. As of Sunday, the fire was only 21 percent contained.
On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California declared a state of emergency. This gives him more freedom to make decisions about emergency response and recovery efforts and to get help from the federal government.
Scientists have said climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.
The U.S. Forest Service closed a 110-mile (177-kilometer) section of the famous Pacific Coast trail in northern California and southern Oregon. Hikers in that area were told to stop their trips and head to the nearest towns.