McKinney Fire: Death toll rises as massive blaze remains 0% contained

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Search crews combing the perimeter of the sprawling McKinney Fire in Northern California have found two more bodies, bringing the blaze’s death toll to four, police announced Tuesday. 

The grim discovery comes as the fire affecting the Klamath National Forest remains 0% contained as of this morning after burning through 55,493 acres, according to Cal Fire. 

“On Monday, August 1, 2022, search teams located two additional deceased individuals in the McKinney Fire perimeter,” the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said. “Both individuals were located at separate residences along State Route 96.” 

Police also said at this time, no other people remain unaccounted for. 

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A sheriff's deputy carries remains of a McKinney Fire victim from a destroyed home on Monday, Aug. 1, in the Klamath National Forest in California.

A sheriff’s deputy carries remains of a McKinney Fire victim from a destroyed home on Monday, Aug. 1, in the Klamath National Forest in California. (AP/Noah Berger)

On Sunday, first responders found two deceased individuals inside a car that was burned in the fire’s path. 

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Firefighters battling the blaze have been given a recent boost by cloudier and cooler conditions, the U.S. Forest Service’s Klamath National Forest Office said. 

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.

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. (AP/Noah Berger)

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“We kept a lot of moisture in the area, so the fire… never really progressed very much yesterday,” U.S. Forest Service Fire Behavior Analyst Dennis Burns said Tuesday. 

A sheriff's deputy stands at a burned home as search and rescue workers recover the remains of a McKinney Fire victim on Monday, Aug. 1.

A sheriff’s deputy stands at a burned home as search and rescue workers recover the remains of a McKinney Fire victim on Monday, Aug. 1. (AP/Noah Berger)

“For today, we have a very moist atmosphere – our humidity is still up around 60% and we are actually expecting the potential for some severe thunderstorms this afternoon,” he added. “Depending on where they set up, if they set up over the incident, we could see up to maybe even an inch of rain. But if they set up further away and we just get the outflow winds, they will fan the fire.”