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Highway 178 back open following multiple crashes, brush fire

Posted at 4:10 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 02:13:11-04

(UPDATE 10 P.M.) The Kern County Fire Department said it has reached 50% containment on a 12-acre brush fire that started following a vehicle rollover on Highway 178.

Around 4:30 p.m., KCFD responded to the accident near Yankee Canyon Drive. When crews arrived the found the fire burning 1.5 acres and moving toward Yankee Canyon. Additional fire personnel were requested to provide protection for residents living in Yankee Canyon while the fire was fought with ground and air resources.

The forward progress of the fire was stopped and firefighters from U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will remain on scene through the night to strengthen containment lines and extinguish hotspots. KCFD said traffic may be restricted while firefighters work to reach full containment.

KCFD said the driver from the vehicle rollover was cared for on scene and later transported by Liberty Ambulance to a local hospital.

(UPDATE 6:50 P.M.) The Kern County Fire Department said the brush fire off Highway 178 is at 30% containment and limited to less than 10 acres at this time.

KCFD said they are fighting the blaze along with Sequoia National Park officials, CalFire, and the Bureau of Land Management.

(UPDATE 5 P.M.) A second crash on Highway 178, near Yankee Canyon Drive, has sparked a brush fire in the area, according to officials.

The Kern County Fire Department said the fire is moving quickly near the canyon. KCFD is working with Sequoia National Park officials to get the blaze under control.

According to the California Highway Patrol traffic incident website, the second crash happened just before 4:30 p.m. when a single vehicle rolled over. THis crash happening near the site of a deadly multi-vehicle crash that closed the highway.

Highway 178, at Yankee Canyon Drive, is closed in both directions due to a deadly multi-vehicle crash, according to Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP traffic incident website, a tan pickup truck reportedly crashed head-on into an older Ford Taurus.

Caltrans reported there is no estimated time of reopening yet.

This is a developing story.