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Less than two weeks after the start of fire season was announced, a fire in the shooting range canyon near East End, north of Frazier Park Fire Station No. 57, burned 50 acres. [Gunner Kuepper sent this photo.]
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Richard Miseroy took this photos of Kern County Fire Department's helicopter 408 taking water from the pond in Frazier Mountain Park to fight the fire. Lot clearance is due by June 15. High fines will be levied on those who do not clear their lots this year.
Range Fire Burns 50 Acres in Frazier Park
Reported by Gary Meyer
The stutter of firefighting helicopters filled the air in Frazier Park Saturday, June 4, less than two weeks after the beginning of fire season was announced. A blaze broke out at the shooting range at the end of West End Road in Frazier Park about 1:55 p.m.
The aggressive interagency response included 150 firefighters from the Kern County Fire Department, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Two water-dropping helicopters, air attack 490 from Kern County Fire Department (a fixed-wing plane which coordinates air traffic), air attack 340 from Cal Fire, five hand crews, fourteen fire engines and one dozer were used. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic control in the Frazier Park area. The blaze was named the Range fire.
Fire helicopter crews were forced by high winds to stop flying into Frazier Mountain Park for water. The pilot reported at about 3 p.m. that he was going to Castac Lake near station 56 in Lebec for safety reasons.
The hills around the shooting range had burned one year ago when several people conducting target practice allegedly sparked a fire which burned about six acres.
The quick actions of fire crews contained this fire to 50 acres. Steep terrain made access to the fire difficult. Fire personnel stayed overnight to achieve full control of the blaze by Sunday.
Lot Clearance Fines
An urgent notice to homeowners about the need to clear property of fire hazards before June 15 has been issued. Calling the program "enhanced enforcement," the Kern County Fire Department said it will issue a $250 fine on June 16 to properties not yet cleared. A $500 fine will follow if the work is not completed within 30 days. A $1,000 fine may follow that.
"The goal is not to generate income but to encourage property owners to clean their properties so firefighters may save their homes," the advisory said. Numerous local homes were saved last year because lots had been cleared. For more information, call 661-330-0133.
This is part of the June 10, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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