Highway Fire covering 1,500 acres, evacuation orders in place

Evacuations in place for Highway Fire

BODFISH, Calif. - UPDATE (9:29 a.m.): The Highway Fire, burning in the Kern River Canyon, is now 20 percent contained. 

New numbers released Tuesday morning show the fire is still covering 1,541 acres. 

The total number of fire personnel on scene has grown from about 400 to 729. 


The Highway Fire, on the Kern River Ranger District, continues to burn into a second day.  The Fire was reported at approximately 2:22 yesterday afternoon, Sunday, June 18, 2017, burning on Forest Service land, located off Highway 178, west of Borel Road.  The cause of the Highway Fire is under investigation.

The Highway Fire is burning in a north to northeast direction and has presently burned 1,541 acres.  The increase in acreage overnight has reduced the containment to 10%.


South Central Sierra Team (Mills) has been ordered and will be taking command of the fire.

Black Gulch south and north are both closed and have been evacuated.  Pending areas closures towards Rancheria Road should be expected.

Over 400 firefighting personnel are on scene from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Kern County Fire Department.  Assisting the effort are resources from the by California Highway Patrol, California Department of Transportation and Kern County Sheriff.

Resources on scene include 6 air tankers, 4 air attack planes, 5 helicopters, 13 hand crews, 20 engines, 2 water tenders, and 4 dozers.  Personnel from the Bureau of Land Management and Kern County Fire Department are assisting the U.S. Forest Service in fire suppression activities. Additional resources are on order.

Special concerns are for fire fighter and public safety.  The Forest Service has asked the public to be aware of dipping sites on Isabella Lake and the Lower Kern River.  It is extremely dangerous to be under the aircraft and in the path of the helicopter water bucket loads.

If utilizing the Old Kern Canyon Road, be aware of the congestion and the large boulder in the eastbound lane.  Please use caution.

Basic Information


Current as of 6/19/2017, 11:22:33 AM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Sunday June 18th, 2017 approx. 02:30 PM
Location Along Highway 178 west of Lake Isabella and west of Borel. Fire is burning on the north side of Hwy. 178 towards Rancheria Road.
Incident Commander Bart Kicklighter, Bryan Hellett(T)
Incident Description Wildfire

Current Situation


Total Personnel 406
Size 1,541 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 10%
Fuels Involved

Grass, brush and scattered timber

Significant Events

Hwy 178 traffic being diverted to the old Kern Canyon Road - which is receiving heavier than normal traffic due to the fire. The Old Kern Canyon road has a vehicle size boulder in the eastbound lane - use extreme caution.



Planned Actions

Continuing direct line. Additional resources have been ordered.


Projected Incident Activity

Resources will be working night shift tonight, 6/18.


Drop in percent contained is due to fire growth overnight.California Highway Patrol, Cal-Trans and Kern County Sheriff assisting, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Kern Co. Fire Dept. firefighting resources.

Current Weather


Weather Concerns

High temperatures


Print this article Back to Top