Erskine, Lake Isabella, Kern County

In Contained California Fires by YubaNet

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  • Incident Name: Erskine, Lake Isabella, Kern County
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: CND
  • Size (acres): 48,019
  • Percent Contained: 98
  • Estimate of Containment: July 9, 2016
  • Personnel: 73
  • Structures Destroyed: 286

 


Erskine, Central California District, BLM. One mile southeast of Lake Isabella, CA. Timber, brush, and short grass. Minimal fire behavior. Area and trail closures in effect.

July 6, 2016 at 9:05 AM

The type 4 organization took command at 8:00 AM. Today will be the last daily update. Fire crews will patrol the perimeter of the fire and conduct mop-up operations as needed. Smoldering stumps and heavy fuels well within the fire’s perimeter might generate smoke that could be visible for the next several days.

All roads remain open with the exception of Piute Mountain Rd which is located within the forest closure area.

July 5, 2016 at 9:09 AM

Creeping and smoldering is anticipated around isolated islands and should not pose a threat to the fireline. Heavy fuels will continue to burn down until consumed or extinguished. No lateral movement expected.

July 4, 2016 at 8:56 AM

Very little fire behavior. Type 3 team will patrol the perimeter of the fire and conduct mop-up and suppression rehabilitation operations as needed

All roads remain open with the exception of Piute Mountain Rd which is located within the forest closure area.

July 3, 2016 at 6:53 AM

The type 3 team has officially assumed command as of 6 AM today.

Very little fire behavior. Type 3 team will patrol the perimeter of the fire and conduct mop-up operations as needed

All roads remain open with the exception of Piute Mountain Rd which is located within the forest closure area.

July 2, 2016 at 9:12 PM

CIIMT 5 will be transitioning with a local type 3 team today. The type 3 team will officially assume command of the fire at 6:00 AM 07/03/2016.

Very few hot spots remain within the Erskine Fire as crews have completed the bulk of the work and the majority of the fire is contained. The north side of the fire—from Lake Isabella to the Kelso Creek area along the 178 corridor—is secure and all fire suppression repairs are complete. Limited repair work remains along the fire’s eastern edge.

All roads remain open with the exception of Piute Mountain Rd which is located within the forest closure area.

July 1, 2016 at 7:54 AM

Very few hot spots remain within the Erskine Fire as crews have completed the bulk of the work and the majority of the fire is contained.

What fire suppression work is left to be done is located east of Inspiration Point heading north to Meadow Creek. The north side of the fire—from Lake Isabella to the Kelso Creek area along the 178 corridor—is secure and all fire suppression repairs are complete. Limited repair work remains along the fire’s eastern edge.

Fire behavior has remained minimal since rain hit the area Tuesday but three hot, dry days without rain serve as a reminder of the potential fire danger.

Crews continue to patrol the fire at night and conduct mop-up operations where needed during the day. Mopping up a fire reduces the chance of escape and helps strengthen firelines. Smoldering stumps and heavy fuels well within the fire’s perimeter might generate smoke that could be visible for the next several days.

June 30, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Southern California Edison anticipates power will be restored to all areas of the fire at some point today. The damage assessment team has completed their report and these will be the final numbers: 12 damaged single residences, 285 destroyed single residences and one destroyed commercial property. The commercial property destroyed was an AT&T microwave cell hub.

Homeowner Re-entry: There are no evacuations in place. Residents can return to their homes with ID for proof of residency. Kern County’s Office of Emergency Services’ transition center at Wallace Elementary is open from 9 am to 6 pm. The Sikh Friends of Bakersfield is serving lunch at Kern Valley High School from 11 am to 5 pm through Sunday. For more information, call Kern County Emergency Operations Center at 661-873-2660 from 8 am to 8 pm.

In coordination with Kern Regional Transit, a shuttle program has been established to take occupants from both evacuation shelters to the Transition Center and to Kern Valley High School at 3340 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella.

June 29, 2016 at 6:56 PM

75% of power restored.

In coordination with Kern Regional Transit, a shuttle program has been established to take occupants from both evacuation shelters to the Transition Center and to Kern Valley High School at 3340 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella. In coordination with Kern County Fire Department and the Kern County High School District, the Sikh Friends of Bakersfield are offering free meals to Erskine Fire victims, responders and volunteers at Kern Valley High School from 11 PM to 5 PM daily.

June 29, 2016 at 11:11 AM 

There was no significant fire activity last night. Additionally, no new starts within the fire zone resulted from yesterday’s thunderstorms. The fire received varying amounts of rain, reducing fire behavior to creeping and smoldering. There is a 20 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms today. Crews and resources continue their efforts to bring the two ends of the containment line together, from the Pack Trail on the north end and Landers Meadow on the south. In areas where containment is complete, crews are repairing damage from fire-suppression activity in order to prevent additional resource damage. Smoke will be visible over the next several days as unburned pockets of grass and trees within the fire’s perimeter continue to burn. When reporting smoke, it’s important to know if the smoke is new or from unburned areas within the fire’s interior. Response to the report will be dispatched as appropriate. The incident continues to support the community-recovery effort as needed.

Safety: Hwy 178 is now open. There is increased traffic on the highway from the public, residents, and fire vehicles. Motorists should drive defensively, exercise caution, and reduce their speed.

Homeowner Re-entry: There are no evacuations in place. Residents can return to their homes with ID for proof of residency. Kern County’s Office of Emergency Services’ transition center is open to support the needs of recently evacuated residents who are now returning to their homes. The center is located at Woodrow W. Wallace Middle School at 3240 Erskine Creek Rd. in Lake Isabella. Normal hours of operation will be from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Call the Kern County Emergency Operations Center at 661-873-2660 for more information on homeowner re-entry. The center hours are 8 AM–8 PM daily.

June 28, 2016 at 7:18 PM

Per CAL FIRE: ErskineFire [update] Lake Isabella (Kern County) is now 46,679 acres & 60% contained.

June 28, 2016 at 11:25 AM 

Overall the fire was quiet last night. Smoke will be visible over the next several days as unburned pockets of grass and trees within the fire’s perimeter continue to burn. The priority for crews today is to construct fireline along the uncontained perimeter of the fire’s west flank.

The damage inspection teams have nearly completed their assessments. The number of residences destroyed or damaged has changed due to more thorough inspections.

Safety:

Hwy 178 is now open. There will be increased traffic on the highway from the public, residents, and fire vehicles. Motorists should drive defensively, exercise caution, and reduce their speed.

Homeowner Re-entry Plan and Remaining Closures

Residents of Squirrel Valley are allowed access to their community if they present ID to law enforcement at the roadblock. Evacuation orders were lifted for some residents: Yankee Canyon and Mountain Mesa residents were allowed to return to their communities. There is no power or potable water in these areas (bottled water is being provided). Areas east of South Lake along Hwy 178—Larson Tract, Navajo, Hillview Acres, Bella Vista, and Weldon—are also open (these areas have electrical power but no potable water, and bottled water is being provided).

The community of South Lake remains closed.

Kern County’s Office of Emergency Services has opened a transition center to support the needs of the recently evacuated residents who are now returning to their homes. The location of the transition center is Woodrow W. Wallace Middle School at 3240 Erskine Creek Rd. in Lake Isabella. Normal hours of operation will be from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Call the Kern County Emergency Operations Center at 661-873-2660 for more information on homeowner re-entry. The center hours are 8 AM–8 PM daily.

Shelters: Shelters are open for residents affected by the fire and will remain open until further notice. Locations: St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Wofford Heights and Kernville Elementary School, Kernville. The Red Cross Safe & Well site is https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.

Road Closures: Roads off of Hwy 178 remain closed: Entrada, McCray Rd, Dogwood, Kelso Valley Rd and Kelso Creek Rd.

Drone Intrusion: An UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), commonly referred to a “drone”, intrusion occurred over the Erskine Fire requiring air operations to be grounded for a period of time. All UAS, of any size or weight, are considered aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are subject to FAA regulations. UAS may not be flown within a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) under any circumstances without prior approval by FAA and the agency that requested the TFR.


June 28, 2016 at 10:46 AM

As of 8:00 PM Monday Night, Kern County Emergency Operations Center began allowing Squirrel Valley residents to return to their homes if they have identification showing they live in the community.

June 28, 2016 at 7:41 AM

Erskine Fire June 28

Erskine Fire June 28

Favorable night time conditions allowed for further containment on the 46,679-acre fire. Containment is up to 45%.

June 27, 2016 at 1:18 PM

The Fire Management Team has lifted some of the Evacuation Orders, which will allow for entry to these areas.

At 12:00 PM today the following areas will be available for people to return to their homes:

Yankee Canyon and Mountain Mesa (Note there is no power to these areas and Bottled water will be available).

Squirrel Valley will remain closed. Road closure at McCray Rd and Dogwood

South Lake will remain closed. Road closures will be at Entrada and Hwy 178

Areas East of South Lake along Hwy 178 will be available for people to return to their homes. Larson Tract, Navajo, Hillview Homeowner re entry plan BAcres, Bella Vista, Weldon (Note these areas have electrical power).

Water Safety Guidelines should be followed for compromised Water Systems.

Road Closures:

Road closures in effect for Highway 178 at the following intersections; Kelso Creek, Sierra Way, Kelso Valley, Entrada and Lake Isabella and Kelso Valley at Kelso Creek.

Last night was generally uneventful with very little fire activity. A glow from the fire was very visible on the north side, as the fire hit pockets of unburned fuel, however, the fire remains within the fire perimeter.

The words for today are “hot and dry again”.  Above normal temperatures, poor overnight RH recovery and gusty winds on ridges and in canyons continue to challenge suppression forces. Today’s priority is on the south-south east areas of the fire. Weather predictions are for expected afternoon heating and wind. This area is also challenging for firefighters because of the steep and lack of access. Crews are prepared for the increased fire activity and the potential for the fire to make short runs.

Air support and retardant drops have been very effective in slowing down the fire’s spread; “buying time” for the firefighters on the ground to construct containment lines. A combination of direct and indirect suppression tactics are being used.

Yesterday a UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), commonly referred to as “drones”, intrusion occurred over the Erskine Fire requiring air operations to be grounded for a period of time. All UAS, of any size or weight, are considered aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are subject to FAA regulations. UAS may not be flown within a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place under any circumstances without prior by FAA and the agency that requested the TFR.

June 27, 2016 at 7:30 AM

Erskine Fire PIO map June 27

Erskine Fire PIO map June 27

The latest map shows continued progress in containment.

June 26, 2016 at 11:06 PM

A drone incursion occurred on the Erskine Fire today in an area where helicopters were assisting with firefighting operations.

The presence of this drone caused fire managers to ground all of the helicopters due to safety concerns. The drone operator was located and detained, and the helicopters were able to resume fire operations after a 30 minute delay.

Erskine Fire managers would like to remind drone operators, if you fly your drones in a fire area, you can impact our ability to do our most important job, which is to save lives and property.

June 26, 2016 at 10:02 PM 

Evacuation Areas: Hwy 178 to Kelso Valley to Paiute, Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon.

Shelters: The American Red Cross of Kern County has two shelters open for residents affected by the fire.

  1. St. Jude’s Catholic Church
    86 Nellie Dent Dr.
    Wofford Heights
  2. Kernville Elementary School
    13350 Sierra Way
    Kernville

The Red Cross Safe & Well site is available for those looking for loved ones affected by evacuations: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.

Road Closures: Highway 178 is closed at Highway 155 and at Sierra Way.

Recreation Closures: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Walker Basin Campground to Jawbone Canyon Road.

Damage Assessment: At least 250 structures have been destroyed and an additional 75 damaged. A damage inspection team is in the process of creating a comprehensive report documenting all structures damaged or destroyed.

June 26, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Great progress by firefighters today, containment is up to 40%.

June 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Fire activity continued over the Erskine Fire last evening and throughout the night as fire line continues to hold as most the activity is within the fire perimeter. The forecasted reduced wind speeds during the day yesterday allowed for improved opportunities for firefighters to conduct direct line construction. Today’s efforts will continue to take advantage of the lighter winds forecast, however a dry air mass over the area will continue to bring temperatures in the 90’s and low relative humidities.

Current numbers of destroyed structures : 200 Damaged structures: 75

Two fatalities have been confirmed. Additional fatalities are possible due to the extreme fire behavior during the initial hours of the incident. For additional information contact Kern County Sheriff’s department.

Additional Precautionary Evacuations:

Landers Meadow and Claraville area. This includes the area along Piute Mountain road between Kelso Valley road and Saddle Springs road.

Precautionary Evacuations:

Squirrel Valley, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Lake Isabella, (Erskine Creek area) and the Weldon area which includes Landers Meadow and Clareville.

Recommended Evacuations:

Bella Vista, South fork, Yankee canyon, Weldon, Southlake, Squirrel valley, Lakeland estates Onnyx and Mountain Mesa.

Road Closures:

Road closures in effect for Highway 178 at the following intersections; Kelso Creek, Sierra Way, Kelso Valley, Entrada and Lake Isabella and Kelso valley at KelsoPIO_arch_d_land_20160626_1726_Erskin_CACND1415 Creek.

June 26, 2016 at 9:38 AM

1,712 firefighters are assigned to the fire. Damage assessment teams continue to inventory damaged and destroyed structures where it is safe to do.

June 25, 2016 at 7:31 PM

Approximately 200 structures are destroyed and 75 damaged.

Continued threat to life and properties including the communities of Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Lakeland Estates, and Bull Center. Portions of Highway 178 and the Kelso Valley are also threatened. Power transmission lines, communications systems and transportation corridors have been impacted. The fire is expected to remain active well into the evening .

June 25, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Firefighting efforts on the Erskine Fire continue as reduced wind speeds allow for better access to the fire line. Primary focus of resources will be the east and south east portions of the fire in the Kelso Valley area. Air operations on this incident have been very successful as the fire has moved into sparser concentrations of vegetation. However hot weather and low relative humidities continue to challenge firefighters.

A damage assessment team has arrived at the incident and is currently involved in damage assessment to homes destroyed as well as those damaged by the fire. Current numbers of destroyed structures are: 150 ; Damage structures: 75

Two fatalities have been confirmed.

The total number of personnel assigned to the incident stands at 1139 with additional resources on the way.

A public meeting is scheduled this evening at 6:00 P.M. Woodrow Wallace Elementary, 3240 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella.

Additional Precautionary Evacuations:

Landers Meadow and Claraville area. This includes the area along Piute Mountain road between Kelso Valley road and Saddle Springs road.

Recommended Evacuations:

Bella Vista, South fork, Yankee canyon, Weldon, Southlake, Squirrel valley, Lakeland estates Onnyx and Mountain Mesa.

Road Closures:

HWY 178 closed at intersection of HWY 155 and Sierra Highway.

June 25, 2016 at 12:34 PM

Public Meeting today at 6:00pm at Woodrow Wallace Elementary, 3240 Erskine Creek Rd, Lake Isabella

June 25, 2016 at 12:08 PM

The American Red Cross of Kern County has opened an additional shelter for residents affected by the ongoing Erskine Fire. The shelter is located at St. Jude’s Catholic Church, 86 Nellie Dent Dr., Wofford Heights, CA 93285. The Kernville Elementary School shelter location is still active and located at 13350 Sierra Way, Kernville, CA 93238.

June 25, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Two damage assessment teams are working to collect preliminary numbers of structures damaged and/or destroyed. All evacuations are still in place. Power and water lines have been damaged, cell towers are destroyed.

June 25, 2016 at 8:20 AM

Current evacuation centers are at capacity
Continued threat to life and properties in surrounding areas.
Multiple structures destroyed.

June 24, 2016 at 6:08 PM

At the news conference, fire officials announce an estimated 30,000 acre size now for the Erskine Fire.

June 24, 2016 at 5:12 PM

Current recommended evacuation – Hwy 178 to Kelso Valley to Piute.

Compiled by David Elkins from a USFS fire cam – Breckenridge Webcam #3

June 24, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Kern County due to the effects of the Erskine Fire, which has claimed multiple lives, caused the evacuation of thousands of residents, burned thousands of acres and damaged homes and critical infrastructure.

“Anne and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to everyone impacted by this destructive blaze,” said Governor Brown. “We join all Californians in expressing our gratitude to the courageous firefighters, emergency personnel and volunteers working tirelessly throughout Kern County to help residents and extinguish this fire.”

June 24, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Kern County Fire Department reporting multiple structures on fire near Kelso Valley Road.

June 24, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Air Attack reports the fire is well established north of Bird Spring Pass, near Skinner Peak.

June 24, 2016 at 2:21 PM

The fire has just jumped Kelso Valley Road, heavy spotting near Pico and Bob Rabbit. The fire has burned some 30 square miles in 18 hours.

June 24, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Per Kern County Fire, 2 confirmed fatalities at this time. Firefighters are still engaged in firefighting & are beginning damage assessment.

The Erskine Fire is burning in the Lake Isabella area of Kern County. The fire is currently estimated at 19,034 acres. There are currently 800 fire fighters on scene, with several hundred more in route to the fire.

Residents in the Lake Isabella and Erskine Creek area should prepare for possible evacuation. Additional evacuation information will be posted when it is available. Evacuations remain in effect for Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon. Hwy 178 is closed at Hwy 155 and at Sierra Way. Kernville Elementary School is now the primary shelter for evacuees. There are approximately 125 evacuees at the elementary school. The Red Cross Safe & Well site is available for those looking for loved ones affected by evacuations: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.

Approximately 100 structures have been lost and 1,500 additional structures are threatened. Additional information on structure damage will be posted as damage assessment teams are able to confirm details.

Heat, steep and rugged terrain, wind and a fast moving fire are all challenges facing firefighters. Today there will be 6 air tankers, including a VLAT, and 7 helicopters on the fire. Additional air resources are in route. Three firefighters have suffered smoke inhalation injuries.

The fire started on BLM managed public lands at the junction of Erskine Creek Rd and Apollo Way at approximately 3:51PM Thursday, June 23d. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"Fire over the water" photographed last night by Michael Cuffe @MikeCuffe of the #ErskineFire in the Kern River Valley in California. Used with permission

“Fire over the water” photographed last night by Michael Cuffe @MikeCuffe
of the #ErskineFire in the Kern River Valley in California. Used with permission

June 24, 2016 at 8:04 AM 

The American Red Cross of Kern County continues to provide shelter for residents of the Kern River Valley area affected by the Erskine Fire. A shelter is open at Kernville Elementary School, 13350 Sierra Way, Kernville, CA 93238.

“Our volunteers have been working to provide lodging, meals, and comfort to affected residents,” said Executive Director Barry Falke, “This fire is affecting hundreds of families, and the local Red Cross disaster team has risen to the occasion.”

An initial evacuation site was previously opened at the Kern River Valley Senior Center, but due to capacity needs residents were moved to the new site at the Kernville Elementary School.

Find Loved Ones

The Red Cross has activated the Safe & Well site for those looking to connect with loved ones affected by the fire. Here, you’ll be able to see if your friends and family have registered as safe. If you are an evacuee, register yourself so that others can find you and know that you’re okay.

June 24, 2016 at 6:56 AM

Approximately 100 structures have been lost and 1,500 additional structures are threatened. Additional information on structure damage will be posted as damage assessment teams are able to confirm details.

There are currently 350 fire fighters on scene, with several hundred more in route to the fire. Three firefighters have suffered smoke inhalation injuries.

Photo courtesy Kern County Fire Department

Photo courtesy Kern County Fire Department

Heat, steep and rugged terrain, wind and a fast moving fire are all challenges facing firefighters. Today there will be 6 airtankers, including a VLAT, and 7 helicopters on the fire. Additional air resources are in route.

Kernville Elementary School is now the primary shelter for evacuees. There are currently 125 evacuees at the elementary school. The Red Cross Safe & Well site is available for those looking for loved ones affected by evacuations: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.

Road closures: Hwy 178 is closed at Hwy 155 and Sierra Way.

Evacuations: Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon

The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and Kern County Fire District are in unified command. Many other agencies are assisting, including Red Cross, Caltrans, animal control, and law enforcement from local, county, state, and federal agencies.

A Type I incident management team is in route.

June 23, 2016 at 11:29 PM

Red Cross has moved the shelter for #ErskineFire evacuees to Kernville Elementary School, 13350 Sierra Way, Kernville, CA 93238

Photo courtesy Kern County Fire Department

Photo courtesy Kern County Fire Department

June 23, 2016 at 10:03 PM

The fire is currently estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 acres. Approximately 80 structures have been lost and 1,500 additional structures are threatened. There are currently 350 fire fighters on scene, with several hundred more in route to the fire.

Road closures: Hwy 178 is closed at Hwy 155 and Sierra Way.

Evacuations are in effect for: Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon

Evacuation centers are Kernville Elementary School, Kern Valley High School and the Lake Isabella Senior Center.

June 23, 2016 at 9:18 PM

Per Kern County Fire: Estimated 3000 acres in size and growing. 0% containment. Power is out in the Lake Isabella area. AT&T cell service is not working. Cause is under investigation.

June 23, 2016 at 9:12 PM

Latest estimates put the fire at over 3,000 acres. Power is out in the Lake Isabella area. Numerous cell towers have burned, phone communications are spotty.

Photo: Kern County Fire Department

Photo: Kern County Fire Department

June 23, 2016 at 6:52 PM

IC just estimated the fire at 2000+ acres. No divert on air tankers for life and safety.

June 23, 2016 at 6:22 PM

A Type 1 Incident Management Team is being mobilized for the fire.

June 23, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Per Kern County Fire: Southlake added to evacuation list. Squirrel Valley, Lakeland Estates, Yankee Canyon and Mountain Mesa also under evacuation.

The fire started at 3:38 pm.

June 23, 2016 at 6:12 PM

The Red Cross shelter for evacuees from the ErskineFire is at the Kern River Valley Senior Center, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd.

1,500 structures threatened, 15 structures destroyed.

breckenridge_3

Erskine Fire seen from Breckenridge at 5:57 pm on June 23, 2016

The fire has jumped Hwy 178, Kern Valley Hospital is evacuated.

As a precautionary measure, power is being cut to South Lake and Squirrel Valley.

Unified command with BLM, USFS and Kern County Fire.

June 23, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Kern County Fire Department: KCFD & USFS on scene of a brush fire in Lake Isabella. Near Erskine Creek Road & Apollo Way. 2 acres upon arrival, moving uphill. 1 structure threatened. Additional air and ground resources en route. Evacuations requested for Lakeland tract.