2 bodies found in McKinney Fire

·3 min read

Aug. 1—Fire personnel found two bodies Sunday morning inside a vehicle that was burned in the path of the McKinney Fire, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office reported Monday morning.

The vehicle, found at about 9:57 a.m., was in a residential driveway along Doggett Creek Road, which is off of Highway 96, west of the community of Klamath River, California.

The identities of the deceased were not released pending notification of next of kin.

A community meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds Livestock Arena. It will also be streamed at bit.ly/McKinneyFireYouTube; facebook.com/KlamathNF and facebook.com/CALFIRESKU

Early Monday morning two people were arrested within the McKinney Fire evacuation zone and booked into the Siskiyou County Jail. One suspect was booked for possession of burglary tools and the other for burglary within an evacuation zone, the sheriff's office reported.

Police said they planned to continue a heavy presence within the fire evacuation zone.

The McKinney started Friday night about six miles south of the Oregon border northwest of Yreka. On Monday morning the fire was reported at 55,493 acres with no containment.

Rainfall overnight from Sunday to Monday kept fire growth minimal during the night. However, vegetation in the area is extremely dry and a continued threat of thunderstorms and associated strong, erratic winds could result in increased fire behavior, fire officials said Monday morning.

The China2 Fire, burning west of Seiad, was at more than 500 acres Monday morning, and that area did not receive any rain overnight, according to a Monday morning fire update by Dennis Burns, fire behavior analyst for California Interagency Fire Management Team 2.

On Monday, firefighters planned to take advantage of the moderated conditions to construct containment lines while staying aware of the continued threat of fire movement, officials said.

Numerous lightning strikes hit the Northern California area over the last 48 hours, and at least 12 holdover fires have been detected on the Klamath National Forest. They range in size from less than an acre to several acres. All are being fully suppressed, fire officials said Monday.

Among the firefighting priorities Monday was to attack the McKinney Fire directly from the east in an attempt to keep the fire from reaching Yreka, Burns said.

"Because the fire on that side is mostly in a backing alignment, and combined with cloud cover, firefighters were not expecting any big, hard-charging runs," Burns said. "The fire has kind of squatted down, and we're not expecting any extreme fire behavior today, with the caveat being that if we do get some thunderstorms and strong outflow winds, we could be some erratic behavior."

Another priority Monday was to fortify the south end of the fire to keep it from moving toward Fort Jones, which was still about 12 miles away, Burns said.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the area into Monday night due to the risk of abundant lightning on dry fuels.

The red flag warning also covers portions of Jackson and Josephine counties, and all of Klamath County.

Air quality was in the moderate category Monday morning for the Medford and Ashland area and north to Shady Cove. Grants Pass had good air quality Monday morning.

For updates on air quality, see oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map.

A new fire was reported Monday in Siskiyou County. The Meamber Fire, located on Meamber Creek Road and Scott River Road, northwest of Fort Jones, California, was reported at 40 acres, according to a news advisory from CAL Fire.