Activity on both fires moderated throughout the evening as a heavy smoke inversion settled over the fire. However, the fires became active again at about midnight.
Crews were actively engaged in structure protection overnight, especially in the Klamath River area. Little progression was observed on the fire’s edge closest to Yreka City.
Priorities for today are to continue structure preparation and protection in the Highway 96 corridor, and around the communities of Fort Jones and Yreka City. Firefighters continue direct suppression tactics when safe to do so and are looking at opportunities to build contingency lines should they become necessary.
Containment lines from previous tires are being reopened even as firefighters work on the active edge of the fire
The area remains in a Red Flag Warning today for a threat of dry lightning and strong outflow winds associated with thunder cells. These conditions can be extremely dangerous for firefighters, as winds can be erratic and extremely strong, causing fire to spread in any direction.
New lightning fires are still being detected, including one overnight at the top of Doggett Creek north of the main fire. Crews will be assessing and addressing these fires as they are detected. Persistent drought conditions have caused extremely dry, receptive fuels which have resulted in rapid fire spread.
Multiple Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect. Additional evacuation information and map can be found on the Zonehaven website. A shelter has been established at the Weed Community Center, 161 E Lincoln Ave., Weed, CA 96094.
Highway 96 remains closed through the fire area.
At this time, the McKinney Fire is 51,648 acres and 0% contained. The China 2 Fire is approximately 300 acres; no word on any containment. Currently, officials estimate nearly 400 structures are threatened. There is no estimate on how many structures have been destroyed.
This is a developing incident. Medford Alert will continue to monitor and update as new information becomes available.