A rapidly spreading fire in northern California is threatening around 400 homes. Since the eruption on Friday, the "McKinney Fire" has spread to more than 200 square kilometers in the Klamath National Forest near the town of Yreka, the authorities said on Monday morning.
How the outbreak came about is still unclear. More than 3,000 residents in the Siskiyou district have been asked to get to safety, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Unpredictable winds made extinguishing the fire difficult, Adrienne Freeman, a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service, told the newspaper. "It's also an extremely dangerous situation for firefighters." Around a dozen other smaller fires spread quickly in the area. According to official information, almost 650 emergency services fought against the flames.
Footage showed a destroyed building and burned-out vehicles surrounded by thick clouds of smoke. Authorities also reported smoke and ash in the neighboring state of Oregon. For the time being, however, the McKinney fire does not pose a threat to the communities there. For the time being, there is no all-clear for the region: the weather service warned of thunderstorms for Monday - lightning strikes on extremely dry fuel could lead to new fires.