Aug 05, 2022
McKinney fire, California’s biggest of year, destroyed at least 132 structures
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The McKinney fire that’s killed four people has destroyed 132 structures, including 87 homes as it scorched nearly 60,000 acres in the Klamath National Forest, officials said.
Meanwhile firefighters have slowed down the fire’s pace one week after it was first sparked, but fire officials said Friday flames could still make a run.
Firefighters were keeping an eye on the fire that’s burned near the California-Oregon border, which remains at 10% containment as of Friday afternoon.
But in the last 24 hours, officials with the Klamath National Forest said the fire had burned about 300 acres, a significant slowdown after the fire had burned through 59,636 in the last seven days.
“We did see some growth in the fire,” said Dennis Burns, fire behavior analyst for the U.S. Forest Service during a briefing Friday. “It was all within lines.”
CaliforniaPhotos: The McKinney fire rages along the Northern California border
The McKinney fire near the Oregon border has burned more than 51,000 acres in the Klamath National Forest.
After battling through mudslides and thunderstorms Wednesday, firefighters on Thursday saw warming temperatures and dryer air, prime conditions for fire growth.
“The fire responded in kind,” Burns said.
The more than 2,200 firefighters on hand saw short spotting in the southwest and west corners of the fire, but the fire’s short advance remained in areas that firefighters could keep on check.
“Everything was staying where we wanted it to stay,” Burns said.
Despite being able to build containment lines on only 10% of the fire so far, Burns said officials have been able to build fire lines across most of the blaze, impeding its growth.
On the east side of the fire, he said, there was still a threat that the flames could cut through those lines and advance. On Wednesday, the eastern half saw about 3 inches of rainfall through thunderstorms, but the water had no effect on the flames.
“The fire was responding as if it never rained at all,” he said.
Firefighters on Friday were expecting short thunderstorms, as well warm and dry temperatures.
Despite the possibility of rainfall, Burns noted that the possibility of wind gusts of up to 30 mph feeding the flames remained a concern.
As a precaution, firefighters were building contingency lines with bulldozers in case the fire lines do not hold.
Over the weekend, firefighters will probably continue to extend containment lines in high heat. Temperatures were expected to reach the mid-90s Saturday. On Sunday, temperatures could reach triple digits.
A community meeting is scheduled at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Friday. The event is set to be livestreamed on the U.S. Forest Service — Klamath National Forest Facebook page.
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‘Who Has Such Extreme Anger?’: Fears Mount After 4 Muslim Men’s Murders
Muhammad Afzaal Hussain’s dreams were starting to come true in New Mexico.
The 27-year-old rising political star, who’d left Pakistan for America in 2017, was working on getting his green card and preparing to move into a beautiful ranch home surrounded by apple trees. For about a year, Afzaal had worked for the city of Española’s planning department, which helped arrange this new housing for him, so he wouldn’t need to continue commuting from his Albuquerque apartment. The drive was 90 minutes each way.
But on the night of Monday, Aug. 1, Afzaal was gunned down outside his apartment blocks from the University of New Mexico, where he attended graduate school and made friends easily. His older brother, Imtiaz, says he’d stepped out to take a phone call before someone ambushed him with bullets.
“What is the motive of that person who was shooting?” Imtiaz told The Daily Beast in an interview. “What has created that type of hatred against him? That is a big question that I want answered.”
It’s a question Albuquerque police and the FBI are exploring, too, as they investigate the deaths of two other Muslim men who’ve died in similar ambush–style attacks in as many weeks, and the unsolved homicide of a fourth Muslim man who was killed last fall.
Police say that on July 26, 41-year-old Aftab Hussein was killed in his apartment complex’s parking lot.
And on Aug. 5, Naeem Hussain was fatally shot just before midnight—hours after attending a funeral service for Afzaal Hussain and Aftab Hussein. According to a report in the Albuquerque Journal, the body of the 25-year-old Naeem, who’d just become a U.S. citizen two weeks before his death, was found in the parking lot of Lutheran Family Services.
A fourth victim, 62-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi, was also killed in November 2021 outside a market and cafe he operated with his brother.