Local News

Monday, Aug 31 2009 05:06 PM

Firefighters keep blaze from reaching Wofford Heights area homes

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    By Casey Christie

    Casey Christie/ The Californian An air tanker drops a load of fire retardant on the largest of 8 fires near Highway 155, between Wofford Heights and Lake Isabella Monday morning. Photo by Casey Christie/ The Californian

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    By Casey Christie

    Kern County Firefighting helicopter #408 makes a water drop on one of several fires Monday, near the Main Dam, off Higwhay 155. The highway was closed for several hours while traffic was diverted around the lake as multiple agencies battled the blazes that were under investigation.

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A quick and massive response by firefighters kept a series of fires near Wofford Heights Monday morning from reaching any nearby homes, Kern County fire officials said.

About 100 homes were initially threatened off Highway 155, but about 200 firefighters from several agencies prevented the blazes from damaging any structures, spokesman Sean Collins said late Monday afternoon.

The fire began about 9:30 a.m. was expected to be fully contained by Monday evening and crews were going to work through the night to make sure any hot spots did not spread, he said. It was about 75 percent contained at 4:30 p.m. and had burned about 75 acres, he said.

As a precaution, about 650 homes in the Wofford Heights area were advised by telephone about the fire, but no evacuations were ordered, he said.

An air tanker and helicopter poured water and retardant on the fire which was also fought with bulldozers, hand crews and fire engines.

The cause of the fires, which were six separate small fires that grew together was unknown. Other small fires were reported off Saw Mill Road and near the Main Dam, but they were put out, he said.

The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management helped fight the fires. If anyone has any information on these fires please call our confidential fire information tip line on 1-877-347-3847, Collins said.

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