PHOTOS – Large McKinney Fire near California-Oregon Border Expands to 55,000 Acres

A large blaze called the McKinney Fire has erupted near the California-Oregon border, and has reached over 55,000 acres, with 0% containment, according to authorities.

TOPSHOT – Flames burn to the Klamath River during the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31, 2022. California’s largest wildfire is driving thousands to flee their homes as the fire rages, wiping out dry land and whipping up lightning storms. The McKinney Fire was zero percent contained, CalFire said, spreading more than 51,000 acres near the city of Yreka. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Cal Fire reports that the blaze began on Friday, south of the Klamath River, and within 72 hours had burned a large area, entirely within Siskiyou County. Due to three years of severe drought, conditions in the mountains are extremely dry. Strong winds were also a factor in the spread of the fire.

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, 2022. Crawford and her husband, however, stayed behind to protect their home, even though other people evacuated. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

TOPSHOT – A kitten singed whiskers that survived the McKinney Fire hides in rocks in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31, 2022. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

This fire is currently the most extensive in California. Other blazes close to Yosemite National Park were more widely covered, but they were quickly contained by firefighters.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday:

The McKinney Fire, in a Klamath Mountains subrange west of Yreka, raced across 20,000 acres overnight Saturday and had devoured 52,498 acres as of Sunday evening, the largest fire now burning in California, state and federal fire agencies said. Crews managed to contain the fire to below 1% but it was back to 0% by Sunday night as flames raged uphill through thick grass and dried timber.

Several homes along Highway 96 near the Klamath River were destroyed, although the dangerous conditions prevented a full assessment of damage, said Courtney Kreider, a spokesperson for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. About 400 structures were threatened as of Sunday, a number that authorities said could grow. About 3,000 people were under evacuation orders as of Sunday night, county emergency operations officials said.

The fire spread despite the rain. Thunderstorms bring high winds and lightning, which ignites even more fires.

The charred remnants of a car towing a trailer that burned when fire jumped the Klamath River remain on the highway at the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31, 2022. California’s largest wildfire is forcing people from thousands to flee their homes as the fire rages, whipping up lightning and strong winds. The McKinney Fire was zero percent contained, CalFire said, spreading more than 51,000 acres near the city of Yreka. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Two bodies were found on Sunday inside a burned-out vehicle in a residential driveway, the Sacramento Bee notes. These are the first deaths from the McKinney Fire.

A horse grazes in a pasture as the McKinney Fire burns in Klamath National Forest, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The cause of the McKinney Fire is still unknown.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. PST). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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