60 PCT Hikers Evacuated from Trail As McKinney Fire Burns Near CA-OR Border

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According to Jackson County, Oregon’s Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), some 60 hikers were evacuated from the Pacific Crest Trail yesterday as the 52,000-acre McKinney Fire prompted evacuations and road closures in the area. Search and Rescue personnel from the Sheriff’s Office met hikers where the trail crosses Road Junction 1055 and directed them to Seattle Bar at Applegate Lake, where personnel from Ridge Valley Transportation District transported them via bus to Medford or Ashland at the hikers’ request. “The rescue team consisted of one JCSO deputy, three SAR volunteers, and four RVTD personnel,” according to a JCSO press release.

JCSO stressed that while Jackson County is getting smoke and ash from the fire currently, at this time, there is no direct threat to the community. There are no evacuations in effect, but the county is under a Red Flag warning. Elsewhere, the town of Yreka, California has been evacuated, and a section of Highway 96 has been shut down due to the fire.

The fire broke out in Klamath National Forest on Friday, July 29th and has rapidly grown to the largest blaze in the state of California so far this year.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) advised on Saturday that the Forest Service would be closing a large portion of the trail from roughly the summit of Mt. Etna in Northern California (mile 1600) and Ashland, Oregon (mile 1710) in response to the McKinney Fire and the Evans Fire, another fire burning west of Seiad Valley, California. The PCT is also closing between Crater Lake and Bend, Oregon due to the Windigo and Tolo Mountain fires.

Hikers can check the PCTA’s website for more information on trail closures. The organization has also recently added fire and smoke layers to its interactive PCT map.

Featured image courtesy of Jackson County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office.

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