NewsWildfires

Actions

Fire officials prepare as the Windy Fire grows closer to Kern County

Posted at 9:09 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 00:09:20-04

KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO)  — The Windy Fire is continuing to burn just north of Kern County causing evacuation warnings on both sides of the Kern River from the Gold Ledge Campground.

Kern County Fire Department, Division Chief Bill Steers explains there are some concerns that the fire will impact Kern county.

“We’ll still see the smoke for quite a while here as we continue to progress and get fire line around the Windy Fire, and as we work our way around the southern portion of it here. It that has some threat to Kern county, but has definitely reduced over the last several days,” said Steers.

It’s a scene that’s all too familiar to residents in Eastern Kern County, smoke continues to fill the air as the Windy Fire grow closer to Kern county.

Fire officials are now setting up at Camp 9 once again, the same camp they used to battle the french fire nearly one month ago.

“There was a potential for it to come down into the Kern river drainage, and then progress towards Kernville, but those are our concerns for Kern county and definitely a big concern for California Assistant Management Team 5 as they manage the incident," said Steers.

Division Chief Bill Steers also says while fires on the mountains are complicated, containment grew significantly Tuesday night.

“There is definitely all these concerns with fires on the mountains and especially just north of our county line here, and the fire is just under 88 thousand acres, it did increase to 25 percent containment. the weather we’ve had the last couple of days, some was not helpful with the wind, but the moisture that we had and the cloud cover over the top of the fire did help significantly with that.”

The good news is that scars from other fires in the past are now protecting areas that had to evacuate just one month prior.

“The French Fire pretty much protects a big portion of Wofford heights, of Alta Sierra, so there’s minimal threat to Alta Sierra for that. There is another fire scar that many around here will remember, the Caesar fire back several years ago, that fire scar is slowing the fire down," said Steers.

Steers says while threats have currently decreased for Eastern Kern, its still best to be prepared.

“Anytime there’s fire in your area or in your community or outside your communities, its always good to have a plan. Get with your family and write down what’s important to you in case you did need to evacuate or if you are asked to evacuate, so you know what to bring with you.”

The Windy Fire has now burned over 87,000 acres and is currently 25% contained.

ASSEMBLE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT

Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.