California’s Largest Wildfire in 2022 Grows 0% Contained

The McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest
Flames burn to the Klamath River during the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31, 2022. DAVID MCNEW / AFP via Getty Images
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A fast-growing wildfire, named the McKinney Fire, has grown to more than 52,000 acres in two days, becoming California’s largest wildfire in 2022. Two people have been reported dead and nearly 3,000 residents have been asked to evacuate.

It is 0% contained, although heavy smoke helped slow the growth on Sunday even as it kept most aircraft grounded. The fire began on Friday in Siskiyou County near the California-Oregon border, and has since exploded to more than 80 square miles, exacerbated by thunderstorms and high, windy conditions.

Climate change is increasing the size, frequency, and intensity of wildfires as well as the length of the fire season. There are currently 53 large wildfires burning across the United States in California, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

As reported by The Washington Post:

The largest fire in the state’s history was the August Complex Fire in 2020, which scorched more than 1 million acres. Six of the seven largest wildfires in California history have happened since 2020.

The heat wave that first hit the Pacific Northwest on Friday — sending temperatures in usually brisk Seattle into the 90s — is forecast to sweep across the rest of the country this week. At least seven deaths in the Pacific Northwest are thought to have been related to the uncharacteristically high temperatures in the area.

For a deeper dive:

Statesman Journal, Los Angeles Times, Oregon LiveCNN, CBS News, BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, AP, San Francisco Chronicle, AxiosCBSClimate Signals Background: Wildfires

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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