NewsCovering Kern County


8 buildings, 40 vehicles burned after metal-cutting incident causes grass fire in Oildale

Posted at 3:10 PM, Aug 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-18 02:35:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Eight outhouses and sheds and 40 vehicles were scorched, after officials say someone cutting metal sparked a fire in Oildale Saturday afternoon.

A thick layer of black smoke from the fire began covering the sky over Wesley Lane near the Chevron oil fields shortly after 3:30 p.m. KCFD's Michael Nicholas said it was started accidentally when someone was cutting metal and the sparks in hot weather conditions ignited the blaze.

The fire charred 15 acres and consumed 8 buildings and 40 vehicles in the area, leaving some people displaced.

“I go out my back door and right out my back door I can see fire. I lost everything, everything. Our trailer, everything. Everything," said Amber Donaldson, who owned a trailer in the burn area.

Donaldson lived in the trailer with her boyfriend and dogs. All got out safe, but she lost everything else in her trailer.

“Not that possessions matter, but you know, memories matter,” she said.

According to KCFD, forward progress was stopped around 5 p.m. Both ground and air crews responded from both city and county fire.

"Multiple vehicles are on fire, the grass is on fire, and numerous outbuildings are also on fire," Nicholas said Saturday afternoon.

KCFD says the fire did not reach the actual oil fields because it was contained by roads. But that was pretty much the only thing working in their favor in today's 100-plus-degree heat.

"It's rough. it make it much more difficult fighting fire in this sort of condition, especially with the wind and the heat," Nicholas said.

The blaze was held to 15 acres. No injuries were reported.

"Thankfully it seems like everybody is safe, doesn't seem like any person was hurt, and I don't think any animals were hurt either, thank goodness, but anybody that resided up there, they lost everything," Donaldson said.

Crews will remain on scene Saturday night to mop up hot spots, according to KCFD.