Fires in the western US expand due to winds and drought

San Diego, USA.- Wildfires in California and Montana grew dramatically in size amid dry and windy conditions, closing in on residential areas and forcing authorities to issue evacuation orders for more than 100 homes, while another fire raged in Idaho.

In California’s Klamath National Forest, the McKinney Fire that broke out on Friday grew from 1 square kilometer to 160 square kilometers on Saturday in a rural area near the Oregon border, fire officials said. The fire destroyed almost twenty residences and led to a large number of wild animals fleeing the area.

“It continues to grow amid erratic winds, torrential rains and high temperatures,” said Caroline Quintanilla, a spokeswoman for the Klamath National Forest.

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as the fire intensified. The measure gives Newsom more flexibility to make decisions and to obtain federal aid. In addition, it allows other states to send resources to California to help fight the fires, according to a statement from the Governor’s office.

Meanwhile, in Montana, a fire has tripled in size to more than 11 square miles, a short distance from the town of Elmo.

Some 200 miles to the south, in Idaho, authorities have issued evacuation orders in the Salmon-Challis National Forest due to a fire that has consumed more than 60 square miles near the town of Salmon. It was 17 percent contained.

Tom Stokesberry, a spokesman for the local forest service, said the fire is being fueled by dry brush.

“It’s a very dangerous fire. It’s extremely wild and steep terrain, and this particular area hasn’t burned in a long time,” he said.

A small fire was also burning outside the town of Seiad, Stokesberry said. With lightning forecast for the next few days, resources were being brought in from across California to help fight the region’s fires, she added.

The explosive growth of the McKinney Fire forced crews to shift from trying to control the fire perimeter to trying to protect homes and critical infrastructure like water tanks and power lines, and assisting in evacuations in Siskiyou County, further north. Of California.

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