Another day, another wildfire. The McKinney Fire began burning in northern California on July 29, and since then it has scorched a total of 52,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire in California’s 2022 wildfire season.
California is unfortunately known for its high frequency of wildfires, especially these days as droughts become more common, fostering the conditions to make wildfires spread more easily. The McKinney Fire began burning in Siskiyou County in Northern California on July 29 for a currently unknown reason. Since then the fire is 0% contained and has scorched a total of 52,498 acres of land per the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection—making the McKinney Fire the largest California wildfire of the 2022 season so far. The McKinney Fire has also tragically taken two lives.
“Sunday fire personnel located two deceased individuals inside a vehicle located in a driveway along Doggett Creek Rd, off [Highway] 96, [west] of Klamath River, CA,” the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s department said on Twitter this morning. “There will be no additional info pending positive identification & notifications to next-of-kin.”
The McKinney Fire is not the only active wildfire in the northern California area. The China 2, Kelsey Creek, and Evans fires are also reported burning in the area in and around Klamath National Forest. These fires then merged together and burned a collective 115 acres says the New York Times citing Courtney Kreider from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. The US Drought Monitor has placed the majority of Siskiyou County in the Extreme Drought designation as of July 28, indicating that the area is experiencing the dry conditions that make wildfires spread easily. California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County on July 30.
As wildfires rage across the planet, they serve as a painful reminder. As climate change continues to increase the frequency of extreme weather events like droughts, wildfires will become all too common.