Winds following storms this weekend aggravated a wildfire smoldering in Northern California, causing considerable expansion, officials said.
According to CAL FIRE, the McKinney fire has burned more than 51,000 hectares as of Sunday afternoon and is not controlled.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency situation in Siskiyou County on Saturday, saying the fire has endangered key infrastructure and caused almost 2,000 people to abandon their homes.
The McKinney fire began on Friday in Siskiyou County, roughly four hours north of Sacramento, near the California-Oregon border. The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the Klamath National Forest. According to the US Census Bureau, the population of Siskiyou County is around 44,000 people.
According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for areas of Siskiyou County on Saturday. Residents in the evacuation zone have been instructed to “please evacuate quickly.”
Based on the governor’s office, two more fires in Siskiyou County, the China 2 and Evans fires, combined and burned more than 300 acres, triggering evacuation alerts for more than 200 residences.
As stated by the governor’s office, the emergency declaration is intended to free up state resources and enable firefighters from those other states to assist personnel fighting flames in California.