Knute Johnson of Lebec sent this photo of the fire burning near Tehachapi.
UPDATE at 9:55 a.m., September 7; (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA —Fire activity on the Canyon Fire is minimal. Remaining fire crews will continue to construct control lines, mop up operations and patrol the fire perimeter. Fire suppression repair has begun to mitigate the effects of fire control activities and prepare for potential erosion. Firefighters continue to work in a challenging environment, with low humidity and the potential fire flare ups. Demobilization of firefighting resources has started. As residents return to their communities we encourage them to do a thorough inspection of their property, looking for hazards such as gas leaks, dangerously burned trees, and power lines.There have been three injuries. Acreage burned is 14,802.
UPDATE at 9:45 a.m., September 6; (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA —The Canyon fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees in steep rugged terrain with heavy fuels. Over 13,470 acres have been burned. A high mortality of Western Grey Pines in this area is generating intense fire activity. As the fire continues to burn to the southeast, a portion of the fire is transitioning out of the hills onto the desert floor, comprised of sparse brush and grass. The communities of Old West Ranch, Oak Creek and Rosamond continue to be threatened due to possible wind changes. Windmill Farms and Southern California Edison Infrastructure and Power lines continue to be at risk. Firefighters are working in extreme conditions, with low humidity and the potential for erratic winds. Fire Crews continue to diligently protect structures, build control line and start mop up operations using crews, dozers and aircraft. Personnel fighting the fire total 1,255, there have been two reported injuries, 12 residences have been destroyed plus 18 outbuildings. Containment is estimated at 10%.
UPDATE at 9:20 p.m., September 5; (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA —The fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees in steep rugged terrain with heavy fuels, and a high mortality of Western Grey Pines. The fire continues to burn to the southeast towards the communities of Old West Ranch, Tehachapi City, Oak Creek, and Rosamond. Windmill Farms and Southern California Edison Infrastructure and Power lines continue to be threatened. Firefighters are working in extreme conditions, low humidity, with the potential for erratic winds. Fire Crews continue to diligently protect structures, construct direct handline and build bulldozer perimeter lines. This evening an evacuation occurred in the community of Willow Springs. There have been two injuries. There have been 12 residences and 18 outbuildings destroyed by the fire.
UPDATE at 9:45 a.m., September 5; (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA —The Canyon Fire is now estimated at 4759 acres with 5% containment. One structure destroyed by the fire, 650 residents and 150 out buildings threatened by the fire. Road closures affected by the fire include Tehachapi Willow Spring between Highline Rd. and Cameron Rd., southbound Dennison Rd at Highline Rd. and Water Canyon Rd. at Highline Rd. Erratic winds and steep, rugged terrain continue to challenge firefighting efforts. Firefighters will continue to hold and secure the fireline while mopping up inside the contained area. Evacuation orders remain in place for residences in areas that are south of Highline Road, north of Oak Creek, west of White Oak, and east Water Canyon. An evacuation center has been set up at Jacobsen Junior High, 711 Anita Drive in Tehachapi.
UPDATE at 7:55 a.m., September 5; (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA — The Canyon Fire is now estimated at 3500 acres with 0% containment. Erratic winds and steep, rugged terrain have challenged firefighting efforts. 600 firefighters are on scene. Evacuation orders are in place for residences in areas that are south of Highline Road, north of Oak Creek, west of White Oak, and east Water Canyon. The Kern County Sheriff Office is evacuating residents in the affected areas. In addition, the ReadyKern system is also being used to advise residents of evacuations. An evacuation center has been set up at Jacobsen Junior High, 711 Anita Drive in Tehachapi.
UPDATE at 11:25 p.m. (Kern County Fire Department media update) Tehachapi, CA —Details: On 09/04/11, at 11:25 am, deputies responded to a reported plane crash in the Mountain Meadows area of Tehachapi. Upon arriving on scene, deputies confirmed a small plane had crashed, which ignited a brush fire. Due to the size of the fire, evacuation of numerous residences in the area was required. At this time over 1000 acres have burn and an unknown number of buildings.
A shelter for the evacuees has been set up at Jacobson Jr. High School, at 126 Snyder St., in Tehachapi.
There was believed to be two occupants on board the plane at the time of the crash. Their names are being withheld pending notification of family members.
UPDATE at 6:35 p.m. (Kern County Fire Department media update): TEHACHAPI, CA- On September 4, 2011 at approximately 11:30 A.M., the Kern County Fire Department responded to a reported aircraft down in the area of Blackburn Canyon just south of the city of Tehachapi. As a result of the accident, firefighters were faced with a rapidly spreading wildland fire. The wind and topography driven Canyon Fire, threatened multiple structures resulting in a mandatory evacuation of Blackburn Canyon.
Over three hundred firefighters ,twenty-five engines, fifteen dozers, four helicopters, and seven air tankers from agencies including CAL FIRE, United States Forest Service, Buerau of Land Management, Kern County Sheriff, and Los Angeles County Fire are on scene. One structure has been lost, while multiple structures remain threatened. As of 5:00pm the fire is estimated to be at 1000 acres.
A relief center for evacuees has been opened at Jacobsen Junior High School, 711 Anita Dr. Tehachapi CA.
LEBEC, CA (Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.)–A fire burning near Tehachapi is confirmed not to be on Tejon by the public information officer on duty with Kern County Fire Department.
This is part of the September 02, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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