Law enforcement and fire agencies from around California form mutual aid teams in response to the raging Erskine Fire in Kern County.
This fire is burning in the Lake Isabella area of Kern County and currently estimated at roughly 30,000 acres. There are currently more 800 fire fighters on scene, with several hundred more enroute through the California statewide mutual aid program coordinated by Cal OES.
Evacuations remain in effect for Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon. Hwy 178 is closed at Hwy 155 and at Sierra Way. Kernville Elementary School is now the primary shelter for evacuees. There are approximately 125 evacuees at the elementary school.
The Red Cross Safe & Well site is available for those looking for loved ones affected by evacuations: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.
Approximately 100 structures have been lost and 1,500 additional structures are threatened. Additional information on structure damage will be posted as damage assessment teams are able to confirm details.
The fire started on BLM managed public lands at the junction of Erskine Creek Rd and Apollo Way at approximately 3:51PM Thursday, June 23d. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Bureau of Land Management, Cal OES, U.S. Forest Service, and Kern County Fire District are in unified command. Many other agencies are assisting, including CalFire, Red Cross, CalTrans, animal control, and law enforcement from local, county, state and federal agencies.