Science

Biggest fire of the year progresses in California – Science et Avenir

The fire, the largest of the year in California, spread across the drylands of the western US state on Sunday, fanned by strong winds, destroying homes and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes, authorities said.

Fire agency CalFire said the fire, dubbed “McKinney,” has destroyed more than 20,638 hectares of the Klamath National Forest, near the northern California city of Yreka.

This is the largest wildfire since the start of the year in California, where several other fires have already taken place this summer.

Damage caused by the McKinney fire on July 31, 2022 in the Klamath National Forest near Yrek in northern California (AFP – DAVID MCNEW)

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the fire has “destroyed homes” and “threatens critical infrastructure” since its outbreak on Friday.

The fire “intensified and spread due to dry fuel, extreme dry conditions, high temperatures, wind, and thunderstorms,” ​​Newsom said in a statement.

More than 2,000 residents have received evacuation orders, mostly in Siskiyou County, according to the California Governor’s Emergency Services.

“Residents of nearby areas should be prepared to leave if necessary. Please feel free to evacuate,” the county sheriff tweeted.

Yreka resident Larry Castle told the Sacramento Bee newspaper that he and his wife had packed some things and picked up their three dogs before leaving for the night.

Other fires in recent years have taught them that things can get “very, very serious.”

About 650 people stepped in to put out the fire on Sunday, according to the National Wildfire Coordination Group.

Deer in the smoke of a fireDoe in smoke from the McKinney fire on July 31, 2022 in the Klamath National Forest near Yrek in northern California (AFP – DAVID MCNEW)

The fire season in California, a state with constant drought, is expected to last several months.

In recent years, California and other parts of the western United States have been devastated by rapid and large fires as a result of global warming.

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