Despite a lull, the biggest fire of the year in California still threatening

Despite a lull, the biggest fire of the year in California still threatens ;ant

BET À DAY

Rainfall and better weather on Tuesday brought some respite to firefighters in northern California, where the largest blaze of the year, which claimed two lives, still remained still out of control. 

The fire, dubbed “McKinney”, has been raging since Friday. It extends over 22,500 hectares, and threatens in particular the small town of Yreka.

Thanks to cooler temperatures and sparse rainfall, “no expansion of the perimeter of the fire was observed,” authorities wrote late Monday.

< /p>

But optimism remained cautious, as an alert from the weather services due to the threat of lightning remained active. After a lull through early Tuesday afternoon, further thunderstorms are expected, they said.

“Vegetation in the area is extremely dry and the continued threat of thunderstorms, and associated strong and unpredictable winds, could cause the fire to flare up,” the California Fire Agency warned. < /p>

Bulldozers have been positioned to protect buildings near the town of Yreka (8000 inhabitants). 

On Sunday morning, the bodies of two deceased people were discovered in a charred vehicle further north, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, where a state of emergency has been declared.

Des Evacuation orders have been issued in this area of ​​California, neighboring Oregon.

“I'm holding on, and trying not to leave too early because I'm helping my mother who is not in good physical health to get around,” Rafael Franco, a resident who received the mandatory evacuation order.

“If at the last minute I see fire crossing the ridge where we are, then we We'll grab what we can and go, and we'll move on hoping for the best,” he added. 

Marjie Lawrence, who hastily left the community of Klamath River on Friday night, said she had returned to her house to take personal belongings. “We took stuff in case the house totally burned down, things we wanted, but not enough,” she explained.

Fire season in California, state in a situation of persistent drought, is expected to last several months. The frequency and strength of these fires are exacerbated by global warming.