YREKA (TBEN SF) — Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday night declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County, where the McKinney fire is raging in Klamath National Forest, forcing nearby communities to be evacuated.
The National Park Service said the fire in the Oak Knoll Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest, west of the Walker Creek Bridge on the south side of the Klamath River, had grown to between 30,000 and 40,000 acres by early Saturday afternoon.
The fire was first reported at 2:38 p.m. Friday. By early Saturday morning it had grown to 18,000, but quickly burned the wood and brush under Red Flag Warning conditions to triple in size over the next 10 hours. There was zero inclusion.
“Cumulus clouds are developing in the fire area, which can aggravate the fire behavior,” the forest service warned on Saturday afternoon.
“The McKinney Fire has grown significantly as winds from the late-night thunderstorms kept the fire active all night,” park administrators posted on the park’s Facebook page. “Runnings on the north and south sides of the fire occurred. Firefighters were forced to switch from an offensive perimeter control effort to evacuations, point protection and structure defense.”
The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for the region as the growing army of firefighters expected a challenging day along the lines of fire.
“Fire managers expect a very dynamic day at the fire as the forecast weather is expected to be problematic for the firefighters,” park officials said.
Forecasters blamed the harsh conditions on the cold front that could bring the threat of lightning to the Bay Area Sunday night.
Thunderstorms are expected from mid to late afternoon in western Siskiyou County, the weather service warned. “Lightning strikes and high fire hazards are likely to result in new fire starts. Wind gusts from thunderstorms can contribute to the spread of the fire. Despite rainfall, the first means of attack can be overwhelmed and residual fires are possible.”
Click for map with evacuation zones
These are the areas under evacuation order.
- – All areas north of Meamber Creek Road
- – All areas south of Mill Creek Road
- – All areas east of Highway 96, Scott River Road
- – All areas WEST of Scott Bar Road
- – All areas north of Grider Ridger, China Grade Road
- – All areas south of Highway 96
- – All areas EAST of Highway 96, China Grade Road
- – All areas WEST of China Grade Road
Zone SIS 1120B
- – All areas NORTH Highway 96.
- – All areas south of Forest Service Road 12, 47n66.
- – All areas of EAST Highway 96 including Horse Creek Road.
- – All areas WEST Highway 96 and Forest Service Road 12.
Zone SIS 1010
- – All areas NORTH California Highway 96
- – All areas south of Forest Service Road 2015-417
- – All areas east of Forest Service Road 47n66.
- – All areas WEST of Forest Service Road 47n44.
Zone SIS 1013
- – All areas south of Beaver Creek Road.
- – All areas EAST of Forest Service Road 40s01
- – All areas WEST of Lumgrey Creek Road and Dutch Creek Road.
Zone SIS 3502
- – All areas north of Mcadam Creek Road, Hi-You Gulch Road.
- – All areas SOUTH from 45n50.
- – All areas east of Scott Bar Road, Ridge Road.
- – All areas WEST of FS Road 45n41.
Zone SIS 3505
- – All areas north of Ridge Road.
- – All areas south of FS Road 46n22.
- – All areas east of Humbug Road.
- – All areas WEST of Ridge Road.
Zone SIS 3401
- – All areas north of FS Road 46n22.
- – All areas south of Highway 96
- – All areas EAST of FS Road 46n22 and Highway 96
- – All areas WEST from Humbug Creek Road and Highway 96.
Zone SIS 1120 & 1123
– All areas south of the Klamath River from Gottsville to Scott River Road, including the communities of Klamath River and Walker Road.
– This includes the Humbug Creek Road, Dowling Gulch and Schoolhouse Gulch areas.