Updated Aug 3, 2022 - Science

In photos: McKinney Fire in California burns more than 57,500 acres amid perilous conditions

 the ruins of a property in the community of Klamath River, which burned in the McKinney Fire in Klamath National Forest, northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31
The ruins of a property in the community of Klamath River, which burned in the McKinney Fire in Klamath National Forest, on July 31. Photo: David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images

California's McKinney Fire, located near the Oregon border, has burned nearly 57,500 acres of land and conditions this week are ripe for continued fire spread.

Why it matters: The McKinney Fire is the state's largest wildfire so far this year and has prompted evacuation orders and a state of emergency declaration in California's Siskiyou County.

  • On Tuesday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office announced that two people were found dead in separate homes within the fire's perimeter, bringing the total number of fatalities so far up to at least four.
  • Two people were discovered dead on Sunday in a vehicle that had been burned in the fire's path, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post Monday morning.

The big picture: As of Wednesday morning, the fire had grown to 57,519 acres and remained 0% contained, according to an update from Cal Fire.

  • Areas of Northern California where the fire is burning were also under a red flag warning through Tuesday evening due to anticipated thunderstorms that will bring "abundant lightning" and "gusty thunderstorm winds," the National Weather Service said on Monday.
  • These storms may also cause sudden, gusty winds that may pose a danger to firefighters, the NWS warned.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Climate change is increasing extreme fire weather days in the West, and is leading to larger wildfires throughout the region as well.

In photos
Charred car on hgihway
The charred remnants of a car that burned in the community of Klamath River, which burned in the McKinney Fire, in Klamath National Forest, northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31. Photo: David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images
A kitten singed whiskers that survived the McKinney Fire
A kitten singed whiskers that survived the McKinney Fire hides in rocks in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31. Photo: David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images
Flames burn to the Klamath River during the McKinney Fire
Flames burn to the Klamath River during the McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest northwest of Yreka, California, on July 31. Photo: David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images
Melted aluminum McKinney Fire
Melted aluminum is hardened at a property in the community of Klamath River, which burned in the McKinney Fire, on July 31. Photo: David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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