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California Forest Service employee dies in McKinney fire

A veteran US Forest Service employee is the first official confirmed victim of the McKinney Fires in Northern California. 

Longtime Klamath National Forest lookout Kathy Shupeman was remembered by firefighters on Monday. 

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Klamath National Forest has lost its own forest," the agency said on her Facebook. "Kathy died at her home in the Klamath River community as a result of the McKinney fire."

Forest Service spokesperson Tom Stokesbury told the Sacramento Bee on Monday She said she died at her home the day the McKinney wildfires erupted, but officials did not say exactly how she died. He started his career as an observatory at Mount Baldi Observatory in . She has been in her position since her 1993. 

She lived in her river community of Klamath for nearly fifty years. 

"We share this grief with each of you. We know it individually. As a support community, we honor Kathy's life and service. , find many ways to keep her spirit in all of our lives,” the Forest Service said.

The McKinney Fire spread over her 60,000 acres in California and is 55% contained. 

Klamath National Forest Lookout Kathy Shoopman
Kathy Shupeman died at her home on the day her McKinney fire erupted.
McKinney Fire
AP/Noah Berger
McKinney Fire
AP/Noah Berger

On Saturday, the Karuk tribe said the fire appeared to have caused the death of tens of thousands of fish in the Klamath River.

Four people died in the flames west of Jereka. The remaining three of him have yet to be publicly identified.

The crew continues to search the area for other possible casualties. 

The McKinney Fire
AFP via Getty Images
McKinney Fire
AP/Noah Berger
McKinney Fire
AP/Noah Berger

 wildfires obliterated the settlement of the Klamath River,and reduced most of the homes and businesses there to ash.

Firefighters have also had to deal with the sweltering heat, and a fire manager said Sunday that three of her people were treated for heatstroke.

More than 11,500 wild firefighters and support personnel are assigned to incidents across the country, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.