2 our bodies present in burned automotive in California wildfires

YREKA, California (AP) – Two bodies found inside a burned-out vehicle on a driveway into the wildfire zone of a raging California fire are among thousands of homes threatening thousands of homes. home Monday in the western United States, officials said. Hot weather, gusty winds and threatening thunderstorms increase the risk that fires will continue to grow,

The McKinney Fire in Northern California near the state line with Oregon exploded to nearly 87 square miles (225 square kilometers) in size after breaking out Friday in the Klamath National Forest, fire officials said. This is California’s largest wildfire of the year to date, and officials have yet to determine the cause.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle and the bodies were found Sunday morning in the driveway of a residential area near the remote community of the Klamath River.

Adrienne Freeman, a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service, said nearly 5,000 Northern California homes and other structures were threatened and an unspecified number of buildings burned.

Smoky flames cast an eerie orange-brown hue in a neighborhood where a brick chimney was surrounded by rubble and scorched vehicles on Sunday. The fire burned trees along Highway 96 and ran through the hillsides in front of houses.

The son of Valerie Linfoot, a firefighter, called to tell her that their three-decade home on the Klamath River had burned. Linfoot said her husband worked as a US Forest Service firefighter for many years and the family did everything they could to prepare their home for the wildfire – including installing a roof. metal and trim trees and tall grass around the property.

“It’s as safe as we can make it,” Linfoot said, and it was very dry and too hot and the fire flared up very quickly. Gulf News Group. She said her neighbors have also lost their homes.

“It is a beautiful place. And from what I’ve seen, it’s just devastating. It was completely destroyed,” she told the news team.

Fire crews on the ground are trying to prevent the flames from moving near the town of Yreka, which has a population of about 7,500. The fire was about 4 miles (6.4 km) away on Monday.

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A second, smaller fire in the area sparked by dry lightning Saturday threatened the tiny California community of Seiad.

“There has been significant damage and loss along the Highway 96 corridor,” said Freeman, which runs parallel to the Klamath River and is one of the few roads in and out of the area.

She added: “But the extent of the damage is still being assessed.”

Forecasters said major storms will move through Northern California again on Monday, accompanied by lightning that threatens to spark new fires in the bone-dry vegetation. Earlier in the day, thunderstorms caused flash flooding that damaged roads in Death Valley National Park and in the mountains east of Los Angeles.

In Northwest Montana, the fire at the Flathead Indian Reservation started in grasslands near the town of Elmo on Friday and moved into wooded areas that have grown to 20 square miles, fire officials said. 52 square kilometers) on Monday. Residents of about 20 homes were told to prepare to evacuate.

The Moose Fire in Idaho has burned more than 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) of the Salmon-Challis National Forest while threatening homes, mining and fisheries near the town of Salmon. It was 23% contained on Monday.

And a wildfire raging in northwestern Nebraska led to the evacuation and destroyed or damaged several homes near the small city of Gering. The Carter Canyon fire started Saturday when two separate fires merged. It was about 30% contained as of early Monday.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Saturday, giving him more flexibility in making decisions about recovery efforts and emergency response and tapping into federal aid.

Climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make extreme weather and wildfires more frequent and destructive, scientists say.

The United States Forest Service has closed a 110-mile (177 km) section of the popular Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California and southern Oregon, and dozens of hikers in that area have been encouraged to forego trips. their go and go to the nearest town.

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Weber reports from Los Angeles. Associated Press correspondent Amy Hanson in Helena, Montana; Margery Beck of Omaha, Nebraska; and Keith Ridler of Boise, Idaho contributed to this report.

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