73-year-old wildfire lookout killed in McKinney fire

A veteran US Forest Service wildfire scout is among four people confirmed to have died in the McKinney fire near the California-Oregon border.

Kathy Shoopman, 73, died at her home in the Klamath River community as a result of injuries sustained in the fire, Klamath National Forest officials said Monday.

“Kathy began her career in 1974 as a lookout at Baldy Mountain Lookout, west of Happy Camp,” officials said. “She has been an associate of Lake Mountain Lookout and most recently Buckhorn Lookout, a position she has held since 1993.”

She has lived in Klamath River for nearly 50 years and is remembered as a talented artist, gardener and animal lover, officials said.

As of Monday morning, the McKinney Fire had charred 60,379 acres and was 40% contained, officials said. 3,266 employees were assigned to the fire.

Authorities were cautiously optimistic about the fire’s prospects, stating that the fire pattern in the north-western region of the fire “is causing less severity in that area.”

Firefighters continued to clean up, securing and assessing their primary and secondary lines around the blaze, officials said.

“Several interior islands of vegetation ignited, resulting in multiple flare sightings by groups, but this was not a threat to current security lines,” officials said. “As the fire spreads eastward, the road systems are expected to help limit the fire’s spread. Given the steep terrain and the fire retreating downhill, concerns of a possible rollout that could challenge currently established containment lines remain at the forefront of firefighters’ minds.”

The area is under a red flag warning through Tuesday evening, officials said.

Additional information was not available late Monday afternoon; a community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Fort Jones.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-08/longtime-wildfire-lookout-among-mckinney-fire-victims 73-year-old wildfire lookout killed in McKinney fire

Alley Einstein

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