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The major wildfire that has raged in Northern California since Friday has claimed its first casualties. Two bodies were found today in a burnt car in a driveway in Siskiyou County, dozens of miles from the Oregon border. Who are not disclosed.
In nearly three days, the McKinney fire became the largest wildfire in the US state this year. Almost 225 square kilometres, roughly an area the size of Amsterdam, has already burned.
At least 2,000 residents of the sparsely populated area were evacuated. A state of emergency also applies in the region. An unknown number of properties have been burned and thousands of homes and other buildings are threatened by fire.
“We tried to make our house as safe as possible, but it was very dry and hot, and it caught fire very quickly,” Valerie Linfoot told a local newspaper. The house where Lynfoot and her family have lived for more than thirty years is on fire.
Her husband, who worked as a firefighter for many years, outfitted their house with a metal roof due to the dangers of wildfires. He also trimmed trees and tall grass around their yard. “But there was nothing left of it,” says Linfoot.
According to the authorities, thick clouds of smoke over the affected area this weekend prevented the fire from spreading quickly, but the development of thick smoke also makes it difficult to put out. There are also concerns that expected thunderstorms will fuel the fires even more.
As the California weatherman tweeted:
High temperatures and persistent drought in California make the US state vulnerable to wildfires. Last month a fire broke out in Yosemite National Park, last week the surrounding area was affected as well. So far, this oak fire, which the fire brigade is still not under full control, has destroyed approximately 78 square kilometers of land.
Over the past two years, California has experienced the worst wildfires since records began in 1932. Last year, about 3,900 square kilometers burned during the so-called Dixie Fire. In the previous year, the state had experienced the largest fire ever: more than 4,170 square kilometers of nature were destroyed.
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