McKinney Fire sees significant progress at 40% containment

YREKA, Calif. – The McKinney Fire has now grown to more than 60,300 acres and is 40% contained.

Firefighters made significant progress on the McKinney Fire this weekend.

But, the Forest Service is being cautious as high wind gusts could impact the fire this week.

“The 40% containment means there is still a lot of work to do,” U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Mike Lindbery said.

This weekend included crucial progress to fire lines with crews building numerous new lines.

“What we’ve been doing to that line is working on now improving that line,” Lindbery said. “What that involves is mopping up inside that line, a 100, 200 feet one, to make sure we take that heat out to reduce that chance of the fire’s escape.”

Fire personnel grew to over 3,200, up almost a 1,000 from four days ago.

The Forest Service said 10 firefighters have been injured since the fire began all of which are minor.

From now until Tuesday will be a critical test for those on the ground and on the fire lines with wind gusts expected to be up to 35 MPH.

“That is the point of where we really test those lines and we’re going to see how they hold in weather conditions that are not typical conditions that you have in the area,” Lindbery said. 

Despite some light precipitation that hit parts of the fire overnight a red flag warning is in place until tonight.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office gave an update on one of the four people who died in the McKinney fire.

Her name was Kathy Shoopman, she worked for Klamath National Forest as a lookout for almost 50 years.

The county also lifted some evacuations orders allowing more people to go home Lindbery said everyone should remain vigilant and be prepared for anything as evacuation zones continue to change.

“Make sure that you stay in a state of readiness,” he said. “We’re in an area, we’re in the wild land interface here, other instances could happen. And do everything they can to stay informed with conditions in their area.”

Lindbery also expects the containment percentage to go up in the next few days with the high number of crew members working the fire.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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