Fire crews work to control a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 5, then jumped to the west to threaten 50 homes in Lebec?s Digier Canyon. All the Mountain Community resources added to 95 Kern County firefighters. They were joined by 40 U.S. Forest Service, 9 Bureau of Land Management and a 40-person state crew, for 184 firefighters working to finish it off by Saturday.
By Gary Meyer
LEBEC—At 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning a vehicle’s tire blowout on the Interstate 5 sparked a blaze of dry grass on a median. High winds carried the fire to the west side of the freeway. Fifty homes were threatened in Digier Canyon.
The fire, which began about a mile north of Fort Tejon, burned in a southwesterly direction, up steep terrain toward Digier Canyon. Approximately 220 acres were burned in just over an hour
Crews responded from Kern County Fire Department stations 55, 56, 57 and 58, as well as California Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Bakersfield Fire Department and Fulton Hotshots.
Helicopters from Kern County Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire and Los Angeles County Fire assisted in controlling the blaze.
An evacuation order was issued after 12 noon and facilities were set up at Frazier Mountain High School. The evacuation center was shifted to Frazier Park Elementary School, according to Kern County Fire Department’s Public Information Officer Jim Eckroth.
As fire crews made progress with containment, the evacuation order was rescinded Friday evening.
The fire did not reach inside Digier Canyon but made it to the northern edge.
Approximately 500 acres were burned.
The fire was 100% contained by 6 a.m. Saturday morning. About 100 firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night, improving containment lines and extinguishing active flames, according to Kern County Fire Department’s Public Information Officer Tony Diffenbaugh.
This is part of the June 13, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.