Brush fire prompting evacuation of Digier Canyon is 100% contained

  • [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]

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    [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]

  • [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]

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    [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]

UPDATE —LEBEC, CA (Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.)— The Tejon fire (including its northern and southern components) is now 100% contained, according to Kern County Fire Department Public Information Officer Andrew Freeborn. “All resources have left the scene,” Freeborn said. “They finished up at about 3:30 p.m. today,” [Tuesday] he said. The final acreage burned was 208 acres.

UPDATE —LEBEC, CA (Monday, July 22, 2019 at 4:55 p.m.)— The Tejon fire is now 70% contained (10% less containment than fire officials reported yesterday). 200 acres are reported to have burned. Containment estimates are now being given as one fire, merging the Tejon fire and the northern fire, which have been only a couple of miles apart.

UPDATE —LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 8:52 p.m.)— At 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon dispatchers transmitted multiple calls for response to a fire on Southbound Interstate-5, just north of Fort Tejon—which ended up being two fires. Over 200 personnel responded, including helicopter support. By 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening the two fires (75 acres on the north and 150 acres on the south) were 80% contained.

Resources responding were significant.
Kern County Fire Department assigned Engines 318, 324, 356, 357, 8532 (from  the Office of Emergency Services), 8533 (OES), KCFD Patrols 58, 64, and 66, plus special crews 10, 11, 7, Sup-40, WT-55, Battalions 5,6,4,2, a public information officer, Safety-6, Kern Dozers 5,7 and  a Dozer manager. Bureau  of Land Management (BLM) Engine 3143, Batt 3115 was assigned. The U.S. Forest Service sent Patrol 75, Engines 71,74, Crew-5, BC-71. Los Angeles County’s Fire Station 77 also sent personnel, as did PG&E and Cal Trans.  No structures were lost, no injuries were reported.

Here is Kern County Fire Department’s Sunday evening report:
Lebec, CA (at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2019)— At about 3:30 p.m. the Kern County Fire Department received multiple calls for a grass fire on the roadside of the Southbound I-5 Freeway just north of the Fort Tejon exit.

First arriving crews were faced with two separate fires about a quarter mile apart, both fires were in light, flashy, fuels, headed uphill in hot/dry weather conditions. It was quickly determined that the southernmost fire was a threat to Digier Canyon and the approximately 200 homes there. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Digier Canyon, with an evacuation center designated at the Frazier Mountain High School.

Multiple strike teams,task forces, and air resources were ordered, with an emphasis on the protection of the Digier community and the people there. At this time (8:30 p.m. Sunday night) forward fire progress has been stopped on both fires. Acreage has been held to 150, and 75 acres respectively. The evacuation order has now been lifted and residents may repopulate Digier
Canyon. Crews will remain on scene throughout the night to achieve full containment and to complete mop up.

Sign up for The Kern County Fire Department would like to remind residents to register with This free notification service rapidly disseminates time-sensitive messages to every telephone
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LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 7:47 p.m.)—The evacuation order for Digier Canyon has been lifted. Los Angeles County Engine 77 and Patrol 77 have been release from the fire.

LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 7:37 p.m.)—Forward progress of the Tejon fire near Digier Canyon has been stopped. The evacuation order for Digier Canyon will be lifted soon.

LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 6:14 p.m.)—There are two fires burning—one near Digier Canyon at about 350 acres and another a few miles to the north at about 70 acres.

LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 5:40 p.m.)—Two helicopters and several fixed-wing air tankers are assisting Kern County Fire Department to knock down a wildfire burning through a drainage area below Digier Canyon. The incident commander was heard saying, “It’s looking good,” referring to progress being made to contain the fire. Crew 10 (The Golden Empire Hot Shots) arrived on scene at about 5:10 p.m.

LEBEC, CA (Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 4:01 p.m.)—A fire alongside southbound Interstate 5, south of Fort Tejon, has caused evacuation of Digier Canyon in Lebec. An evacuation center is being set up at Frazier Mountain High School. This page will be updated when more information is available.

This is part of the July 19, 2019 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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