Earlier tonight, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reported that the growing McKinney Fire had jumped Highway 96. The fire is approximately 33 miles south of Medford; burning in the Northern California county of Siskiyou.
As of this evening, the fire had been estimated to have grown to nearly 300 acres. Earlier today, the fire was only about 63 acres in size.
Officials called tonight’s fire movement “extreme” as crews battled high winds, high heat, and low humidity. The next few days are expected to continue to challenge crews, as the area will be under a Red Flag Warning.
More air support assistance is on the way, as several Large Air Tankers (LAT) and Very Large Air Tankers (VLAT) have arrived at the Medford Airports (MFR) two air tanker bases. If weather permits, expect to see numerous operations in out out of MFR, as the McKinney Fire has become a top priority for the regions fire command.
There are a number of evacuation orders in place around the fire. The evacuation area has greatly increased tonight as the fire has exploded in size and movement.
The areas of mandatory evacuations now reaches to the Oregon border. Scanner traffic indicates that law enforcement is going door to door in some areas to warn residents of the danger and get them out.
Shortly after 11:30p, CalTrans and SCSO closed a section of Highway 96, as the McKinney Fire was creating conditions that made driving in the area unsafe. Furthermore, officials also remarked that earlier thunderstorms had a negative impact on the fires movement and behavior. Additional ground crews have been ordered and are heading there tonight.