The largest and deadliest fire in California this year damaged homes and businesses in the small northern state town of Klamath River.
- The Makeni fire burned more than 228 square kilometers and killed four people
- The fire destroyed most of the houses, the caravan, the post office and the common area on the Klamath River
- Scientists say climate change has made fires more frequent and more destructive
Roger Derry, 80, has lived in the Klamath River for 40 years.
He said the fire was a blow to a city of about 200 people.
“Some of our 100-year-old houses are gone,” he said.
“Good people, especially good people live here and will rebuild themselves over time.
– But it will take a while now.
The fire, known as the McKinney Fire, burned more than 228 square kilometers from the initial explosion on Friday.
Still out of control.
It is the largest wildfire ever to burn in the Klamath National Forest.
The fire destroyed most of the homes in the Klamath River, including those in the trailer park, as well as the post office, community hall and other scattered businesses.
The reason has not been established.
When it started, the McKinney fire spread to just a few hundred acres, and the firefighters thought it would soon be over.
But then the storm cell came in with a strong gust of wind that turned it into unstoppable fire within hours.
Mr. Deere and his son decided not to evict.
Their house, which they tried to preserve by cutting down the adjacent bushes, survived.
Firefighters showed up and dug fire barriers in the area, but could see the fire breaking through the spaces around them.
“When the fire broke out over the ridge, the fire was 30.8 meters high and 1.6 kilometers high in a breeze,” Deere said.
“Nothing stopped her.”
Thousands of people are still under evacuation orders, 100 buildings have burned down from houses to greenhouses and at least four bodies have been found in the area.
On Tuesday, a new storm in the area caused heavy rainfall and swollen rivers.
Firefighters were allowed to use bulldozers Tuesday to forge barriers along the ridge to protect homes and buildings at Yreka County headquarters, firefighters said.
The researchers said climate change has made the western United States warmer and drier over the past three decades, and the weather will continue to worsen and increase the frequency and destruction of fires.
Fires in Montana, Idaho and Nebraska have destroyed some homes and continue to threaten communities.
And in northwestern Montana, there was a fire near the town of Elmo on Friday that burned down several buildings. But authorities said they did not immediately know if there were any houses.
Fire officials said Tuesday the blaze covered an area of 66 square kilometers with a 10 percent containment.
Some residents had to flee Monday when the afternoon wind caught the flames.
A moose fire in Idaho burned more than 220 square miles in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, endangering homes, mining and fishing activities near the town of Salmon.
That was 23 percent on Tuesday, according to the National Center for Interagency Coordination.
A massive fire in northwestern Nebraska has evacuated and destroyed or damaged many homes near the town of Gering.
The Carter Canyon fire started Saturday with a merger of two separate fires.
On Tuesday it was more than 30 percent.