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Fire crews battling several wildfires across Kern County

After a slow start, wildfire season is picking up steam as crews are battling several fires around Kern County.
Posted: 10:22 AM, Aug 02, 2023
Updated: 2023-08-02 13:28:19-04
California Wildfires

After a slow start, wildfire season is picking up steam as crews are battling several fires around Kern County.

The East Fire ignited near Round Mountain Road north of Hart Park. At last check, the fire was at over 1,200 acres but is now fully contained. There were no reports of any injuries or damage to any structures.

East Fire

23ABC News spoke with Kern County Fire Captain Andrew Freeborn who said the makeup of the area presented a real challenge for firefighters.

"So as we're fighting this fire, this area has different oil production and other infrastructure that's all through this area. So as you look around you can see oil derricks. You can see pipelines, you can see overhead lines of electrical lines. And so that is certainly something that we have to be mindful of as we're working on the ground, as well as the helicopters that are making the water drops. They have to be mindful of these things as well. So we're continuing to work around these. If we see any hazards we make sure to identify those and communicate those to one another."

The fire began Tuesday just after 2:30 p.m.

Paramount Fire Map

Also burning Wednesday morning is the Paramount Fire. It's near Highway 46 in the Lost Hills area. At last check, the fire is 107 acres with zero containment. It began late Tuesday afternoon.

According to officials the fire has a slow rate of spread and is burning between levees.

No evacuation orders or warnings are in place for the area right now -- and there are no reports of injuries or property damage.

California Wildfires
Joshua Trees burn in the York Fire, Sunday, July 30, 2023, in the Mojave National Preserve, Calif. Crews battled “fire whirls” in California’s Mojave National Preserve this weekend as a massive wildfire crossed into Nevada amid dangerously high temperatures and raging winds. (AP Photo/Ty O'Neil)

And a wildfire that's spreading in Nevada is now threatening thousands of the region's Joshua Trees. The York Fire already has charred around 80 thousand acres of land.

The fire broke out last Friday in California and the flames crossed into Nevada on Sunday.

The Joshua plants at risk grow only one to three inches a year according to Laura Cuningham, the California director of the Western Watershed Project, an organization that works to protect and restore watersheds on this side of the country.

"It will take a lifetime to get those mature big Joshua tree forests back. Some are fire resistant and if the flames are not too hot they will stump sprout out or they will reseed."

According to Cunningham, the fire is also threatening the Joshua trees of Nevada.

The fire meantime continues to burn and resources from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and San Bernardino Fire Protection District are battling the fire. Clark County is on standby.

Firefighters reportedly have the wildfire about 23 percent contained.

The cause of the York Fire is still not known.

Finally, the Kern County Fire Department is currently fighting a blaze on Tecuya Mountain, a mountain located in the San Emigdio Mountains near Frazier Park.

According to the Watch Duty wildfire website, the Tecuya Fire had reached approximately 20 acres with "a moderate rate of spread." The website also said that aircraft, such as helicopters and tankers, were assigned to the fire, as well as additional fire crews from San Bernardino County who were initially assigned to the York Fire at the California state border with Nevada.


And with all these recent fires happening, Kern County Fire wants to remind everyone the best defense against a fire is to make sure your home is prepared.

To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation planted near it.

Also, make sure to stay on top of your landscaping. Trim tree branches and keep trees pruned and make sure to keep everything watered so nothing gets dried out.

For more information and tips, visit the Kern Fire Safe website.