Chuck Noble of Lebec took this photo of a Kern County helicopter taking a load of water to douse the median fire near Fort Tejon on the Interstate 5 Tuesday afternoon about 5 p.m.
FORT TEJON (Wednesday, Aug. 4 6:30 a.m.)— The fire that broke out on Tuesday Aug. 3 on the Grapevine near Fort Tejon was put ot within hours. At approximately 4:45 p.m., the Kern County Fire Department responded to a vegetation fire in the center divider of Interstate 5, near Fort Tejon. Approximately 30 firefighters fought the fire. Water drops were applied from KCFD helicopter 407.
Upon arrival crews were faced with a section of burning vegetation in the center median of I- 5. The fire was traveling at a moderate rate of spread up hill through very steep terrain and heavy vegetation. Crews battled intensely against the hazardous conditions. Traffic was stopped in the number 1 lane in both directions. Helicopter 407 made numerous water drops to assist firefighters on the ground. A Cal Fire strike team that was passing by stopped and assisted KCFD in containing the fire to approximately 5 acres. Crews will remain on scene for several hours to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.
No structures were damaged by the fire and there are no reported injuries.The cause of the fire is undetermined.
The Kern County Fire Department would like to ask motorists to slow down and be considerate of firefighters working at the edge of the roadway. Smokey conditions reduce visibility making it very dangerous to both firefighters and motorists.
LEBEC (Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 5:14 p.m.)—A fire has been reported in the center divider of Interstate 5 just north of Fort Tejon. The southbound fast (#1) lane has been closed due to fire personnel and vehicles in the roadway, and CHP expects to close down the northbound fast (#1) lane for the same reason. Drivers are advised to approach the area with caution and expect delays.
This is part of the July 30, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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