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California's McKinney Fire reaches 30% containment, has destroyed 87 homes

Crews have reached 30% containment of the massive McKinney Fire that has destroyed more than 87 homes in northern California since last weekend. Photo courtesy Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

Aug. 6 (UPI) — Crews have reached 30% containment of the massive McKinney Fire that has destroyed more than 87 homes in northern California since last weekend.

The McKinney Fire, which broke out on June 29 in the Klamath National Forest near California’s border with Oregon, has killed at least four people in its path and burned more than 60,044 acres, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.

Injuries include a private contractor working the fire who was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a bridge gave out underneath his truck near Humbug Road.

“More containment line has been secured around the fire’s perimeter as firefighters continue to make headway,” fire officials said in an incident update Saturday.

“Crews tied in their fire line with adjacent crews along the eastern portion of the fire from the south fork of Humbug Creek to Dunn’s Gulch, bringing containment to 30% across the fire.”

Mop-up operations are in effect where containment has been established to shore up control over the blaze along its eastern front, fire officials said.

Fire officials are more than halfway through an initial damage assessment and said that 87 residences have been destroyed and a total of 132 structures have been destroyed counting garages and commercial businesses. Four structures have minor damage.

“Conditions on Sunday and Monday are going to be almost identical to when this fire started,” Dennis Burns, a fire behavior analyst, said in a community meeting on Friday.

“The biggest fear is we have a jackpot of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter and it ignites.”