UPDATE (AUGUST 22 @ 8 AM): Sunday morning, Fire officials announced that the French Fire has grown to 13,341 acres and is now at 10% containment.
UPDATE (AUGUST 21 @ 8 AM): Fire officials announced Saturday morning that the French Fire has grown to 11,295 acres and remains at around 5% containment.
UPDATE (AUGUST 20 @ 5:12 PM): Kern County Animal Services announced that they are available to help those whose animals were left behind as a result of the French Fire. "Attention Residents in the Kern River Valley who have evacuated due to the #FrenchFire. If you have animals that were left behind, please contact Kern County Animal Services at 661-868-7100. We have personnel ready to assist you and your pets."
UPDATE (AUGUST 20 @ 5:07 PM): Current evacuation situation in the Lake Isabella area due to the French Fire:
- Wagy Flat Road east to Lake Isabella, between Old State Road south to Keyesville.
- Keyesville south, from the intersection of Black Gulch Road and Forest Route 26S06, continuing east to Highway 155.
An Evacuation Order means that the French Fire is an immediate threat to life. An Evacuation Order is a lawful order to leave now and seek shelter away from the fire area. The area is lawfully closed to public access. An Evacuation Order will likely be the last order given.
- Rancheria Road east to Wofford Boulevard, between State Route 155 south to Old State Road.
- The Black Gulch area, north of Highway 178
An Evacuation Warning means that the French Fire is a potential threat to life and/or property, and all residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice if it becomes necessary. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock, should leave now.
UPDATE (AUGUST 20 @ 4:42 PM): The American Red Cross shelter has been relocated as a result of the spread of the French Fire. It has been moved from the Kern River Valley Senior Center to Wallace Elementary School at 3240 Erskine Creek Rd.
UPDATE (AUGUST 20 @ 4:23 PM): 23ABC's Kristin Vartan spoke with a representative of the Kern County Fire Department and they are reporting that the French Fire has now burned about 10,000 acres and is only 5% contained. However, that percentage could go down depending on the amount of acreage already claimed.
UPDATE (AUGUST 20 @ 1:41 PM): Caltrans District 6 has announced that Highway 155 has been closed between Glennville and two miles east of Alta Sierra due to the French Fire. They say the road "will be re-opened once deemed safe by emergency personnel on-site."
UPDATE: Due to the growing French Fire, an evacuation order has now been issued for Alta Sierra. An evacuation warning means there is an immediate threat to life/property.
UPDATE: As the French Fire expands to over 4,200 acres additional evacuation warnings have been issued for the area of Black Gulch, north of Highway 178.
UPDATE: The French Fire burning in the Kern River Valley is now covering more than 4,200 acres. Kern County Fire officials providing 23ABC with an update Friday morning saying the blaze has grown to 4,272 acres and is just five percent contained.
Two homes have been destroyed, along with another 15 outbuildings.
Fire officials say the blaze is threatening 300 homes.
UPDATE: The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office is issuing an emergency closure of the Keysville Special Recreation Management Area in Kern County, due to wildland fire danger from the nearby French Fire.
UPDATE: As the French Fire continues to grow near Lake Isabella, additional evacuation warnings have been issued for areas near Wofford Heights. According to ReadyKern, an evacuation warning was issued for the area of Rancheria Road east to Wofford Blvd., between Highway 155 south to Old State Road.
"An Evacuation Warning means that the French Fire is a potential threat to life and/or property, and all residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice if it becomes necessary. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock, should leave now."
The following area remains under an Evacuation Order: Wagy Flat Road east to Isabella Lake, between Old State Road south to Keyesville.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Kern River Valley Senior Center, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella.
UPDATE: According to Kern County Fire, the French Fire has expanded to 3,233 acres and is 0% contained. "Evacuations remain for the Sawmill community. Firefighters are keeping a close eye on the weather, particularly the winds, to make sure we are keeping the communities and their firefighters safe."
A wildfire erupted overnight just west of Lake Isabella. Dubbed the French Fire it has prompted evacuations in the area.
It first sparked east of Wagy Flat Road Wednesday evening. It has quickly grown to more than two thousand acres and is zero percent contained as of Thursday morning. As of right now, officials do not know what caused the fire.
The fire took over several cars and utility poles but it is unknown at this time if any structures have been damaged.
An evacuation order is in effect for the Sawmill community. The American Red Cross is currently using a senior center as an evacuation location for residents affected by the fire. They are providing food, water, and shelter. They also have a nursing staff on-site and there is an area for pets as well.
PHOTOS: French Fire, August 2021
American Red Cross Public Information Officer Cindy Huge says if you need to evacuate be ready to bring your phones and important documents but don’t waste time leaving your house.
"If you're racing against time and the fire is approaching your area, please just leave. We can help you with the other items. We don't want any loss of life. We can provide the other items for you. Just take your children and your animals and come seek shelter at the American Red Cross.”
The senior is located at 6409 Lake Isabella Blvd.