Officials Say McKinney Fire Has Grown to Over 57,000 Acres

With drier and hotter weather in the forecast, increased fire activity is anticipated over the next few days.

Yesterday’s showers kept the fire from gaining significant growth. This allowed firefighters to move to an offensive approach where they can now focus on opportunities to go both direct and indirect on the fire. With the rainfall also comes hazardous debris, such as mud, downed trees, and rockfall; ultimately causing fire personnel to work more cautiously in these areas of the fire.

The one to three inches of rainfall last night over the eastern portion of the fire helped firefighters to gain ground on tying in handline throughout night operations. Crews are making good progress on the 200–300-acre spot fire from a few days ago on the northern edge of the fire.

Additional fireline has been constructed from Humbug Ridge to Baldy Gap aiding in securing the fire’s edge. The fire has progressed to Collins Baldy Lookout in the south and is backing towards Scott Bar and the Humbug Creek Drainage, where the fuel load is heavy with dead and down trees. Hand crews were able to cut handline along Scott Bar to get access on the western edge of the fire.

Perimeter control focus as fire behavior has moderated allowing direct tactics as well as continuing indirect opportunities and contingency lines. Point protection of values at risk operations continue along the Highway 96 corridor near Walker Bridge, Horse Creek and Scott Bar. Fire has progressed to Collins Badly lookout in the south and is backing towards Scott Bar, and Humbug drainage, Deadwood Baldy Peak on the east flank. Area under Red Flag Watch into Tuesday for lightning over the fire area.

Temperatures are forecasted in the low 90’s with low relative humidity and chances of thunderstorms in the afternoon just east of the fire. Gusty west winds are possible, ranging from 15-20 miles per hour in drainage areas.

Thunderstorms will be capable of producing gusty winds to 50 mph, small hail, abundant lightning, and very heavy rainfall. Periods of heavy rainfall may create flash flooding, debris flows, and rock falls over area wildfires and recent burn scars in steep terrain. Temperatures will be increasing this weekend and will be hot once again with warm overnight lows. Smoke may create periods of degraded air quality.

The McKinney Fire grew to 57,519 acres with 10% containment. The cause is under investigation. An estimated 1,885 personnel are working the fire.

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