NewsCovering Kern County


As acreage burned reaches new record, local fire crews assist teams across the state fighting wildfires

Posted at 1:21 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 13:35:18-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — (UPDATE: Wed. Sept. 9) The Bakersfield Fire Department said it has sent additional teams to help with state wildfires. BFD has sent one engine and four fire personnel to assist crews fighting the Creek Fire.

California wildfire season is in full throttle with several wildfires scorching millions of acres. As local and state fire crews battle the flames, firefighters from the Bakersfield Fire Department and the Kern County Fire Department are responding to the call.

Bakersfield Fire said crews are responding to the Castle Fire and the Red Salmon Fire.

The Sequoia Complex Fire, made up of the Castle and Shotgun fires, was reported on August 2. Both fires are in the Sequoia National Forest. The majority of the Castle Fire is in the Sequoia National Forest, but it is also burning in the Inyo National Forest.

A large portion of the Castle Fire is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness Area.

The several hundred-acre Shotgun Fire is approximately 5 miles northwest of the Castle Fire. The Bakersfield City Fire Department has one engine, with four personnel currently working the front lines on this fire.

The Red and Salmon Fires are burning on the Klamath, Six Rivers, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests within Humboldt, Siskiyou, and Trinity Counties.

BFD said the Great Basin Incident Management Team 5 transferred command to South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team 14 Monday morning. Team 14 will continue to work closely with the Yurok Tribe, the Karuk Tribe, and local community liaisons. The Bakersfield City Fire Department has sent one member to this fire to provide leadership and oversight on an incident management team.

Meanwhile, KCFD has joined crews in Fresno County battling the Creek Fire.

KCFD said these firefighters started on the Holser Fire and later were assigned to the River Fire and Canyon Complex Fires.

Last week KCFD reported around 85 fire personnel assisting statewide with wildfires.

On Monday the Associated Press reported more than two million acres in California have been burned so far this year, setting a new record even as crews battled dozens of growing blazes across the state.

The previous record was 1.96 million acres burned in 2018. Cal Fire began tracking in 1987.

Dry, hot winds are predicted to raise fire danger to critical levels in the coming days. Officials expanded evacuation orders Monday for rural communities in the path of a huge fire in California’s Sierra National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service said Monday that it is closing National Forests in the Southern California Region due to wildfire concerns. These closures will be in effect on a day-by-day basis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.