The McKinney Fire, burning in a remote part of northernmost Northern California, has claimed at least four lives, after two more sets of human remains were found in residences along Highway 96.
The fire burned fast and furious over the weekend in and around the small community of Klamath River, where two bodies were already discovered early Monday inside a vehicle on a residential driveway. Those individuals have not yet been publicly identified.
And on Tuesday, two more individuals were found dead in separate residences on Highway 96, and they have not yet been ID'd, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. No other people remain unaccounted for at this time.
As of Tuesday morning, the McKinney Fire has scorched 56,165 acres, and it is the largest wildfire so far this year — reaching that enormous size in just four days. According to the sheriff's office, the fire has grown just today by about 600 acres since Cal Fire's last update, and
Cal Fire said today, "Fire activity was again mitigated overnight by cloudy, cooler conditions," and "no perimeter growth was observed" overnight. Also, progress was made in "bringing [a] dozer line along the ridge to protect the structures" at the edges of Yreka, and to strengthen the containment line at the southern edge of the fire to keep it out of that town of around 7,500 people.
Crews were also working to protect homes in the community of Walker, which is fully surrounded by fire.
Chief Janet Jones of the Klamath River Volunteer Fire Department told ABC News that her town is essentially gone. "It's devastating," Jones said. "We don't have the resources that larger cities do. The people won't be able to rebuild."
The fire remains, officially, 0% contained, and 3,000 people remain evacuated.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
About 60 miles away, near the community of Happy Camp, the China2 Fire continues burning as well. It also ignited on Friday, the same day as the McKinney Fire, and it has grown to 2,000 acres. Yet another, smaller fire nearby, dubbed the Alex Fire, has burned 140 acres.
Some resources from the McKinney Fire have already been diverted to the China2 Fire in order to keep it from getting any larger.
A small amount of rain Monday helped to keep fire growth to a minimum, but any amount of wind only serves to keep the fire moving.
"The moisture with the thunderstorms can be helpful, but you can get these winds up to 40 and 50 mph, which can catch an ember, bring it back to life and really cause this fire to move quickly," said Joel Brumm, a spokesperson for the Klamath National Forest, speaking to ABC News.