clearn.png
Sunday August 7th, 2022 9:43PM

Deadly California wildfire wipes out scenic river town

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KLAMATH RIVER, Calif. (AP) — Roger Derry, 80, and his son have lived together in the tiny scenic hamlet of Klamath River in Northern California for more than 40 years.

They know most of the town's 200 or so residents.

Now, they're one of the few families left after California's largest and deadliest wildfire of the year raged through the modest homes and stores of the riverside town.

“It’s very sad. It’s very disheartening,” Derry said. “Some of our oldest homes, 100-year-old homes, are gone. It’s a small community. Good people, good folks, for the most part, live here and in time will rebuild. But it’s going to take some time now.”

The McKinney Fire that erupted last Friday remained out of control, despite some progress as firefighters took advantage of thunderstorms that dumped rain that temporarily took a bit of heat out of the parched, scorched region not far from the Oregon border.

The area saw another thunderstorm Tuesday that dumped heavy rain and swelled rivers.

The fire has burned nearly 90 square miles (233 square kilometers), and is the largest of several wildfires burning in the Klamath National Forest.

The blaze grew very little Tuesday, and fire officials said crews were able to use bulldozers to carve firebreaks along a ridge to protect homes and buildings in and around the small city of Yreka.

But several thousand people remained under evacuation orders, 100 buildings ranging from homes to greenhouses have burned and at least four bodies have been found in the region.

The destruction of a small community has sadly become a real possibility as wildfires become fiercer in the Western United States.

Wildfires in Montana, Idaho and Nebraska have destroyed some homes and continue to threaten communities.

Just four years ago, a massive blaze in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California virtually razed the Butte County town of Paradise, killing 85 people.

Scientists have said climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

When it began, the McKinney Fire was only a couple hundred acres and firefighters thought they would quickly have it under control. But then, a thunderstorm cell came in with ferocious wind gusts that within hours had pushed it into an unstoppable conflagration.

Roger Derry and his son, whose name is spelled Rodger Derry, decided not to evacuate when the fire broke out and said their home, which they'd tried to safeguard by trimming away nearby bushes, survived. Firefighters also showed up and dug firebreaks around the neighborhood.

But they could see the fire as it tore its way through the places around them.

“When that fire came over that ridgeline, it had 100-foot flames for about 5 miles and the wind was blowing. It was coming down like a solid blowtorch," Roger Derry said. “There was nothing to stop it,”

The fire destroyed most of the homes, including those in a trailer park, along with the post office, community hall and other scattered businesses.

The cause hasn't been determined.

In northwestern Montana, a fire that started Friday near the town of Elmo on the Flathead Indian Reservation has burned some structures, but authorities said they didn’t immediately know if any were homes. The blaze measured 25 square miles (66 square kilometers) on Tuesday, with 10% containment, fire officials said. Some residents were forced to flee Monday as gusting afternoon winds drove the fire.

The Moose Fire in Idaho has burned more than 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) in the Salmon-Challis National Forest while threatening homes, mining operations and fisheries near the town of Salmon. It was 23% contained Tuesday, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center.

And a wildfire raging in northwestern Nebraska led to evacuations and destroyed or damaged several homes near the small city of Gering. The Carter Canyon Fire began Saturday as two separate fires that merged. It was more than 30% contained by Tuesday.

___

Weber reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press reporters Amy Hanson in Helena, Montana; Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska; and Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Abortion court battles press on, even in deep red states
In deeply conservative Idaho, it's expected that abortion will be banned eventually, but abortion rights advocates are continuing their legal challenges
12:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Hawaii school named for US leader muddles alumni identity
“Where you went grad,” is a common question posed in Hawaii Pidgin to find out which high school someone graduated from
12:08AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Deadly California wildfire wipes out scenic river town
Firefighters say they're making progress as they battle California's largest and deadliest wildfire of the year
12:05AM ( 25 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Asian stocks higher as US-China tensions rise
Asian stock markets are higher as traders watch for signs trade might be disrupted by U.S.-Chinese tensions over an American lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan
12:09AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Wainwright, reunited with Molina, hurls Cards past Cubs 6-0
Adam Wainwright pitched seven spotless innings with longtime catcher Yadier Molina back behind the plate, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0
12:09AM ( 21 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: A look at the missile that killed al-Qaida leader
U.S. officials have said taking out a terrorist threat in Afghanistan with no American troops on the ground would be difficult but not impossible
12:05AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kansas voters resoundingly protect access to abortion
Kansas voters have protected abortion rights by rejecting a measure that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten abortion restrictions or ban it outright
11:37PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Valentine to face Schmitt in Missouri Senate race
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate
11:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt beats Greitens in GOP Senate race
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate
11:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Rent-A-Center settles alleged California overpricing dispute
Officials say one of the nation’s largest rent-to-own companies will pay $15.5 million to settle California’s allegations that it misled and overcharged tens of thousands of customers
6:06PM ( 6 hours ago )
Arizona House speaker who rejected Trump pleas faces voters
Arizona's Republican House speaker is facing the anger of supporters of former President Donald Trump after he rejected pleas to help overturn the 2020 election results and testified before Congress about the efforts
4:58PM ( 7 hours ago )
Grieving father erupts at Parkland school shooter's trial
A grieving father erupted in anger as he told jurors about the daughter school shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered along with 16 others four years ago
4:36PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Abortion court battles press on, even in deep red states
In deeply conservative Idaho, it's expected that abortion will be banned eventually, but abortion rights advocates are continuing their legal challenges
12:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Hawaii school named for US leader muddles alumni identity
“Where you went grad,” is a common question posed in Hawaii Pidgin to find out which high school someone graduated from
12:08AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Arizona GOP primary tests power of Trump's election lies
The Republican Party’s embrace of Donald Trump’s election lies is being tested in Arizona
11:57PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Illinois parade attack suspect expected back in court
The man accused of opening fire at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago is due back in court a week after prosecutors announced he faces 117 felony counts in the attack that killed seven people and wounded dozens more
11:57PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Death toll in Northern California wildfire zone rises to 4
Authorities say two more bodies have been found within the burn zone of a huge Northern California wildfire, raising the death toll to four in the state’s largest blaze of the year
11:40PM ( 49 minutes ago )