Breaking News

  • CHP officer Kelley Walker struggles with 72 year-old Joe Palme after Palme refused to stop at a checkpoint on Highway 178  in Lake Isabella. Palme finally stopped at his Squirrel Valley property and confronted Walker. Palme, whose home was which was destroyed by the Erskine fire,was taken into custody and is expected to be booked for failing to yield to a police officer and resisting arrest.

    LIVE UPDATES: Erskine Fire, June 26, 2016

    Updated at 4:50 p.m. The U.S. Forest Service continued to stream firefighters, including Hot Shot crews, into the fire’s more rugged areas via helicopter. Here’s a photo of crews getting ready to head out to fight the fire: Hotshot crew members shuttled to & from the fire lines on

  • With Erskine Fire aftermath in the background, a Southern California Edison worker helps restore the power with a huge team of SCE workers in the Kern River Valley.

    LIVE BLOG: Erskine Fire, June 25, 2016

    Updated 6:59 p.m. “There were a lot of homes here that were saved because of defensible space,” Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall said. Updated 6:43 p.m. I want to assure you that Kern County  is throwing everything we've got at this fire,” Kern County Supervisor Mick Gleason said

  • Erskine Fire evacuee Rene Czajka, right, gives a supportive hug to South Lake resident Cathy Berlin, left, who lost her home in the fire Thursday night. Both were attending the public meeting Saturday morning at the Kernville Elementary School where they heard information about the fire in the Kern River Valley. About 200 attended this informative meeting in Kernville.

    Erskine fire brings loss, gratitude

    KERNVILLE — Angel Chaparro, 41, sat in the shade of one of the two big trees outside Kernville Elementary School Saturday eating a hamburger with his family and friends around him. He’s not going back to his home in Squirrel Valley with his mother, sister and the five children in their clan any

  • Residents displaced by Erskine Fire could be going home

    Some residents driven from their homes by the Erskine Fire near Lake Isabella could be allowed back into their homes as early as noon on Sunday. Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall made the announcement during a community meeting Saturday evening. Residents have been evacuated from their homes

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    Possible human remains found Saturday in area burned by Erskine Fire

    Kern County sheriff’s officials said remains were found in the South Lake area Saturday, one of several communities hit hard by the Erskine Fire since it erupted two days ago. Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said at a 6 p.m. community meeting that it has not yet been determined if the remains are

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    Man shot in south Bakersfield

    A man was shot twice during an altercation in south Bakersfield early Saturday and the alleged shooter was taken into custody. Police said Demetrius Bailey shot 25-year-old Denzel Washington at 1:17 a.m. in the 4900 block of Penelope Place. Washington survived his injuries. Bailey, 54, was booked

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    Two injured in shooting in Bakersfield Friday evening

    Police said two men were shot Friday evening southeast of downtown Bakersfield. Police said the men were shot in the 100 block of 8th Street at 9:50 p.m. and suffered non-life threatening injuries. The suspects were described as black males with slim builds and short black hair wearing white T-

  • The Erskine Fire burns out of control Thursday near Lake Isabella.

    Two confirmed dead in Erskine Fire

    Two people have died in the Erskine Fire, Kern County firefighters reported Friday afternoon. No further details regarding the deaths or where exactly the bodies were found has been released.  Firefighters said the 19,034-acre blaze is burning in the Lake Isabella area and has consumed about

  • An American flag still waves in the wind in front of one of many homes that burned down in Squirrel Valley on Flicker Street during the Erskine Fire when the fire came through this area, east of Mt. Mesa Thursday night.

    LIVE UPDATES: Erskine Fire, June 24, 2016

    Updated 10:15 p.m. A big effort was underway Friday night to evacuate sixty-nine residents of the skilled nursing facility at Kern Valley Hospital. Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. was working with the county Emergency Medical Services Department and Liberty Ambulance to make it happen, a Hall news

  • Californian photographer Casey Christie, who lives in Bodfish, near the Erskine Fire. Christie said in his long career photographing wildland fires, he's never seen anything like the Erskine Fire.

    CASEY CHRISTIE: I've never seen anything like the Erskine Fire

    I’ve photographed dozens of wildland fires in my 37 years as a photojournalist and as a resident of Bodfish, we’ve been packed and ready to go more than once. But the Erskine Fire has wrought devastation like I have never seen, and hope to never see again. The 2002 Deer Fire started behind my

  • Many structures burned in the Erskine Fire including this home on Shadow Mountain Road, with only the chimney standing and flames still in the yard, Friday.

    Governor declares state of emergency due to Erskine Fire

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Kern County Friday due to the devastation wrought by the Erskine Fire.  A news release from Brown’s office noted the fire has resulted in multiple deaths, led to the evacuation of thousands of residents, burned thousands of acres and destroyed

  • The 10 Tanker Air Carrier DC-10 drops a load of fire retardant on a wildland fire near Lake Isabella Thursday evening. It carries 11,600 gallons of fire retardant per load. Multiple resources were called to battle this blaze.

    Wildfire near Lake Isabella grows to about 5,000 acres; homes lost

    A raging wildfire consumed an estimated 5,000 acres in the Lake Isabella area Thursday evening, burning an estimated 80 structures and threatening another 1,500 as it marched toward Onyx, fire officials said. The cause of the blaze burning south of Highway 178 and north of Erskine Creek Road

  • Stabbing suspect.

    Stabbing suspect at large

    Bakersfield police are searching for a man who stabbed another man in a convenience store parking lot. The suspect confronted the victim at 6:25 p.m. June 4 in the parking lot of Howards Mini Market at 3300 Planz Road, police said. A fight ensued and the suspect stabbed the victim, who suffered

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    Motorist convicted of second-degree murder in 2014 crash

    A Kern County jury convicted a 24-year-old man of second-degree murder Thursday for a crash that killed a man in March 2014. Rodolfo Contreras was also convicted of two other felonies, and will remain in custody on $750,000 bail until his July 22 sentencing. He faces 16 years to life in prison.

  • Suspect in chemical theft.

    KCSO: Suspects stole $2,800 in farm chemicals

    Two suspects are wanted in connection with stealing $2,800 worth of farm chemicals from a storage yard north of Bakersfield. The theft took place June 12 near Famoso and Zerker Roads, Kern County sheriff’s officials said. The suspects broke into a container at the storage yard and stole the

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    Strip mall damaged in fire

    Arson investigators are looking into the cause of a fire at a commercial strip mall Wednesday morning. Bakersfield firefighters arrived at the strip mall in the 1100 block of South H Street at 9:02 a.m. to find heavy smoke coming from the rear of the single-story property, firefighters said. The