Kern Co. Fires Consume Over 20,000 Acres

Firefighters continue to battle a series of massive brush fires that have consumed over 20,000 acres in Kern County.

The fires were triggered by lightning around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Kern County Fire officials.

Residents in the communities of Keene, Hart Flat, Bear Valley, Golden Hills and Stallion Springs are being told that evacuations may be recommended. Several roads were closed but authorities were allowing residents in.

"There are houses in the area but none of them are immediately threatened," said Paul Lowenthal, incident spokesperson for the King Complex fire.

Over 1,300 personal were assigned to the various locations.

The 23,000-acre Comanche fire complex was 30 percent contained Monday, but Kern County fire Capt. Bill Brickey said evacuations are still advised for Stallion Springs, where hundreds of homes are in danger.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection teams are taking over management of the two largest clusters of fires.

One is the Keene Complex southeast of Bakersfield. The 7,025-acre Keene fire complex was 92 percent contained, and scattered homes are at risk.

The other, the Comanche Complex, is southwest of Bakersfield near the city of Arvin.

Another 80-to-100 acre fire has closed down about 16 miles of Highway 178 through the Sequoia National Forest.

Firefighters were able to gain ground on the Baker branch of the fire near Walker Road. 1200 acres in that area had burned but it was estimated to be 80% contained as of Sunday afternoon.

Two firefighters sustained injuries but the severity was not immediately known.

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