Year’s largest wildfire claims two lives in California

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Hundreds of firefighters were battling a fast-moving forest fire in northern California on Monday which has killed two people and forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

The McKinney Fire, the largest in the state so far this year, has ravaged 55,493 acres (22,500 hectares) in the Klamath National Forest near the border with Oregon, CalFire said. The fire was zero percent contained on Monday morning as searing temperatures and gusty winds hampered the efforts of the more than 850 firefighters deployed to combat the inferno. California and other parts of the western United States have been ravaged by huge wildfires in recent years, driven by years of drought and exacerbated by a warming climate.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said firefighters found two people dead inside a burned-out car on Sunday in the driveway of a home in the community of Klamath River. Speaking on ABC News, Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue said firefighters suspected the pair were caught in the swift-moving fire as they tried to flee. California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Siskiyou County, and more than 2,000 residents of the rural area are under evacuation orders. —Reuters

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