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Kern County Fire urges residents to take evacuations serious

"When you get the order, leave."
Posted at 6:30 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 00:10:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s been seven days since fire crews have started to try to contain the blaze and while they have made some progress, they said it will be a while until the fire reaches full containment.

“Well to be fair, I can’t say that the end is in sight anytime soon but there will come a day when this thing has been put to be,” said Kern County Fire Fighter, Sean Collins.

Evacuation orders are still in place as the French Fire continues to rage on in the areas of Wofford heights and Keysville.
Collins said while efforts looked good Tuesday morning things quickly changed.

“Things were moving very well yesterday morning but with the wind shift, a big change yesterday afternoon and we saw that huge push that came in on the top half of Wofford heights,” said Collins.

While evacuation orders were already in effect, law enforcement had to knock on homes door to door to get people to leave.
“What we did do is reinitiate it and say that you need to leave now, this is an imminent danger and unfortunately some people still decided to stay in their homes,” said Collins.

Doing that ended up taking efforts away from fighting the fire.

“Life safety is our number one priority so at that point we transition from fighting the fire to protecting life,” said Collins
Collins also added that Highway 155 is closed to prevent people from going back home and help with fire crews bringing in equipment.

The high winds continue to cause issues when it comes to containment.

“This area, we know it, the locals know it how the winds are battling each other because of the factors around here and that does cause problems,” said Collins.

KCFD said to take evacuation warnings and orders seriously.

“Please don’t leave it to the last minute, it endangers your lives, your family's lives, and firefighters' lives. When you get the warning be prepared. When you get the order, leave,” said Collins.