A fire, the largest of the year in California, progressed on Sunday through the arid regions of the American western state, fanned by strong winds, destroying houses and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes, according to the authorities.
The blaze, dubbed “McKinney,” destroyed more than 20,638 acres of the Klamath National Forest near the northern California town of Yreka, fire agency CalFire said.
It is the largest wildfire since the start of the year in California, which has already been hit by several other fires this summer.
State Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the blaze had “destroyed homes” and “threatened critical infrastructure” since its outbreak on Friday.
The fire “intensified and spread due to dry fuels, extremely dry conditions, high temperatures, winds as well as thunderstorms,” Newsom said in a statement.
More than 2,000 residents have been served with evacuation orders, according to the California governor’s office of emergency services, mostly in Siskiyou County.
“Residents of the surrounding areas must be ready to leave if necessary. Please feel free to evacuate,” the county sheriff tweeted.