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Sheriff: Death toll in Northern California wildfire path rises to 4

Western Wildfires
Posted at 1:37 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 17:38:19-04

Authorities in California raised the death toll to four after two more bodies were found in the path of a raging wildfire.

In a press release, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said search teams located the bodies at a residence along State Route 96 on Monday.

News of the additional bodies found Monday comes after fire crews found two bodies inside a burned vehicle in a driveway west of Klamath River on Sunday.

The names of the deceased have not been released.

The U.S. Forest Service said the McKinney Fire has exploded in size since it began Friday in the Klamath National Forest.

Officials said rain had helped firefighters Monday, but the fire has burned more than 56,000 acres, and none is contained.

According to officials, the Associated Press reported that the state's largest blaze of the year had burned more than 100 homes, sheds, and other buildings.

The McKinney Fire isn't the only fire burning in the national forest.

Crews are battling the China 2 Fire, west Seiad Valley and south of Highway 96, and the Alex Fire, which is at the summit above Doggett Creek.

"While last night’s weather mitigated fire spread, vegetation in the area is extremely dry, and the continued threat of thunderstorms and the associated strong, erratic winds could result in increased fire behavior," the U.S. Forest Service said in an incident report update. "Firefighters will take advantage of the moderated conditions to construct containment lines today while staying aware of the continued threat for convective activity in the area."

Officials said that an investigation of how the fires started is still ongoing.