All 4 Mckinney Fire victims positively identified through DNA, dental analyses

KLAMATH RIVER, Siskiyou County — Authorities have now positively identified all four people killed in the McKinney Fire in Siskiyou County, the largest and the deadliest fire in California this year.

The Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office said the victims were Judith Kays, 82; Charles Kays, 79; John Cogan, 76; and Kathleen Shoopman, 73. Shoopman, who manned lookout towers for decades in the Klamath National Forest was previously identified as one of the victims by the U.S. Forest Service.

Authorities said two bodies were found in a burned vehicle in a residential driveway in the community of Klamath River on July 31. Two other victims were found on August 1 in separate locations. 

“The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims, said Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue in a prepared statement. ‘If you are willing, please keep those affected by this fire in your prayers.” 

The sheriff’s office cited the Butte County Sheriff’s Office and Dr. Duane Spencer, DDS for assisting with DNA and dental analyses.

The McKinney Fire has burned at least 60,392 acres – about 94 square miles – as of Thursday and was close to 100% percent contained.

All evacuation orders in the fire area have been lifted.


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