Kern County fire destroys 80 homes, spreads to 4,000 acres

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A fast-moving wildfire in Kern County destroyed at least 50-60 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in rural communities near Lake Isabella on Thursday. (Kern County Fire Dept. via Facebook)

A fast-moving wildfire in Kern County destroyed at least 80 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in rural communities near Lake Isabella on Thursday.



Officials said the blaze dubbed the Erskine Fire quickly exploded in size since it began around 4 p.m., spreading to at least 4,000 acres as it was fueled by heat in the upper 90s and low humidity.

A fast-moving fire near Lake Isabella in Kern County has destroyed at least 50-60 homes.



"I've been a firefighter for nine years. This is definitely the most destructive fire I've ever been to," said Capt. Tyler Townsend with the Kern County Fire Department, who was broadcasting live on Facebook from the fire area.

Many homes in the rural area have propane tanks and some could be seen shooting flames skyward on Townsend's video.


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Kern County fire destroys 80 homes, spreads to 4,000 acres
Kern County fire destroys 50-60 homes, spreads to 2,500 acres
A fast-moving wildfire in Kern County destroyed at least 50-60 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in rural communities near Lake Isabella on Thursday. (Kern County Fire Dept. via Facebook)
By ABC7.com staff
Updated 5 mins ago
KERN COUNTY (KABC) --
A fast-moving wildfire in Kern County destroyed at least 80 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in rural communities near Lake Isabella on Thursday.

Officials said the blaze dubbed the Erskine Fire quickly exploded in size since it began around 4 p.m., spreading to at least 4,000 acres as it was fueled by heat in the upper 90s and low humidity.

A fast-moving fire near Lake Isabella in Kern County has destroyed at least 50-60 homes.

A fast-moving fire near Lake Isabella in Kern County has destroyed at least 50-60 homes. (Kern County Fire Dept. via Facebook)

"I've been a firefighter for nine years. This is definitely the most destructive fire I've ever been to," said Capt. Tyler Townsend with the Kern County Fire Department, who was broadcasting live on Facebook from the fire area.

Many homes in the rural area have propane tanks and some could be seen shooting flames skyward on Townsend's video.

Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon.

"This fire's driven by winds, steep terrain," Townsend said. "We have firefighters in here trying to protect as many homes as they can."

Evacuation centers were established at Kernville Elementary School, Kern Valley High School and the Lake Isabella Senior Center.
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