Extreme Temperature Diary- Tuesday August 2nd, 2022/ Main Topic: Update on the Deadly McKinneh Fire

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Update on the Deadly McKinneh Fire

Dear Diary. A few people on Twitter criticized me for describing a then 0% contained Oak Fire as “deadly” because at that point in my diary no one had perished from the conflagration. I knew that this fire would be a big deal for flora and fauna. Now very unfortunately after a few days two firefighters have perished trying to contain an even bigger California fire with hundreds of people loosing using their homes and possessions:

Now we need to focus on the McKinney Fire, which so fire has touched 55,000 acres. Thankfully this year we have a much more active monsoon, which has moistened the drought-stricken states of New Mexico and Arizona and should aid firefighters to contain fires in California the next two weeks. One big minus here is that dry lightning (associated with storms that produce very little rainfall) could spark more fires.

Here is the latest report from the Washington Post on the McKinney Fire:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/08/01/mckinney-california-largest-wildfire/

NATIONAL

2 die in McKinney Fire, now California’s largest wildfire this year

The blaze has already killed two residents as of Sunday, officials say.

By Bryan Pietsch and 

Kim Bellware

Updated August 1, 2022 at 10:54 a.m. EDT|Published August 1, 2022 at 3:07 a.m. EDT

The McKinney Fire in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest grew to more than 51,000 acres on July 31. It has become the state’s largest fire in 2022. (Video: AP)

With a heat wave hanging over the region, it took only a weekend for a wildfire raging near California’s northern border to swell into the state’s largest blaze this year and turn deadly.

Two people were found dead in a vehicle that burned in the fire’s path Sunday. Officials found the vehicle in a residential driveway near Highway 96, west of Klamath River community, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.

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The McKinney Fire has burned more than 55,000 acres since it was reported Friday afternoon in the eastern reaches of the Klamath National Forest. The blaze has been fueled by “above normal temperatures and low relative humidity,” according to fire officials.

The fire was completely uncontained as of Monday morning, with a fire watch in effect through Monday “for abundant lightning on dry fuels” from thunderstorms that were forecast to hit the area. “Probability of ignition,” fire officials forecast, was “100%.”

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About 2,500 residents have been ordered to evacuate in rural Siskiyou County, said Courtney Kreider, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. The police department in Etna, Calif., evacuated Pacific Crest Trail hikers by bus to Oregon on Sunday afternoon. Part of the popular trail was closed from Mount Etna in Northern California to Mount Ashland in southern Oregon, according to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Rubble from a building scorched by the McKinney Fire on July 31. (Noah Berger/AP)

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency for the wildfire, which “allows for more flexibility in the face of an unfolding crisis, including the suspension of regulatory statutes that may impede the emergency response and recovery efforts,” his office said in a statement.

Note: Fire data of 1:00 p.m. ET. Sources: NASA (hot spots), NIFC (perimeters), OpenStreetMap, Maxar (imagery) DITYA JAIN AND DYLAN MORIARTY/THE WASHINGTON POST

“Overnight thunderstorms and lightning, high temperatures, extreme drought conditions, dry fuels, winds, and continued critical fire weather conditions have increased the intensity and spread of these wildfires,” the emergency declaration said.

Kreider estimated that about 100 structures had been destroyed so far, with “significant loss” along the winding Klamath River and the highway that traces alongside it, State Route 96, part of which has been closed. Included in that toll was the Klamath River community’s grocery store, post office and community hall — and the childhood home of a sheriff’s deputy, where his mother was also raised, Kreider said.

The McKinney Fire is more than double the size of the next-largest wildfire in California this year, the Oak Fire, which has burned more than 19,000 acres in Mariposa County. The Oak Fire, which started July 22, was 67 percent contained as of Sunday night.

The largest fire in the state’s history was the August Complex Fire in 2020, which scorched more than 1 million acres. Six of the seven largest wildfires in California history have happened since 2020.

The heat wave that first hit the Pacific Northwest on Friday — sending temperatures in usually brisk Seattle into the 90s — is forecast to sweep across the rest of the country this week. At least seven deaths in the Pacific Northwest are thought to have been related to the uncharacteristically high temperatures in the area.

Meanwhile, large wildfires are burning across the northern Mountain West. The Elmo Fire in northwest Montana has scorched more than 10,000 acres as the Moose Fire in central Idaho has burned more than 48,000 acres.

In western Nebraska, a wildfire that forced evacuations has burned about 13,000 acres and was about 30 percent contained, the Star Herald reported, citing emergency officials.

Meanwhile, large wildfires are burning across the northern Mountain West. The Elmo Fire in northwest Montana has scorched more than 10,000 acres as the Moose Fire in central Idaho has burned more than 48,000 acres.

In western Nebraska, a wildfire that forced evacuations has burned about 13,000 acres and was about 30 percent contained, the Star Herald reported, citing emergency officials.

More wildfire news:

Here are more “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

Here is some more July 2022 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

(If you like these posts and my work, please contribute via this site’s PayPal widget. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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