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McKinney Fire doesn’t grow; containment rises to 80 percent

by Mike Chapman, Redding (Calif.) Record-Searchlight |

Thursday was another day of progress for firefighters working on Northern California’s McKinney Fire.

The blaze didn't grow – remaining at 60,389 acres – while containment expanded to 80 percent. The blaze, which broke out July 29 about 15 miles west of Yreka, has destroyed 185 structures and killed four people.

"Crews continue to monitor fire activity along the entire perimeter. Fuels burning via smoldering and creeping with some interior islands continuing to burn out," according to a Friday morning assessment by the U.S. Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program.

Friday's objectives are to continue monitoring the McKinney Fire, mop up deeper into the fire's interior, and protect cultural and natural resources, officials said.

Highway 96 along the Klamath River reopened Thursday to traffic escorted by pilot cars from Kohl Creek to Beaver Creek about 11 to 19 miles east of Hamburg, according to the state Department of Transportation.