As families begin the gradual process of picking up the pieces in the wake of the Erskine Fire, not only are they left dealing with the remnants of the devastation caused by the blaze, but also a danger that still lurks.
Kern County Sheriff's officials say they're patrolling the areas where the fire hit for possible looters.
"The criminal mind, they utilize tragedy such as this to find new victims," said Ryan Dunbier, senior deputy with the KCSO. "(The area has) already been hit by the fire and of course we don't want to see a secondary impact of being hit by criminal behavior."
Since the fire erupted on June 23, KCSO says they've been patrolling homes for any suspicious activity, making sure what's left is protected.
At any given time 15-20 deputies patrol the areas on foot or in marked vehicles.
KCSO says there have been no arrests made, but have come across people not allowed in burn areas.
"We've had some self initiated with law enforcement action where there's been people in the burn areas at times that might not have a reason to be in there and they've been contacted and removed from those areas."