Local News

Thursday, Aug 22 2013 06:47 PM

Shirley Complex fire contained by firefighters

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Rain falls on the Shirley fire east of Shirley Meadows Monday afternoon. A thunder storm came through the area bringing lightning and rain that possibly helped firefighting efforts.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The nearly 900-acre Kern County fire sparked Sunday night by a lightning strike was 100 percent contained Thursday afternoon by firefighters, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Known as the Shirley Complex fire in the Kern River Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest, the blaze has still closed several roads and campgrounds, including more than nine miles of Rancheria Road.

The Forest Service said although there will continue to be interior burning within the fire perimeter and smoke will continue to be visible, the fire no longer poses a threat to local communities.

Crews were aided by a steady rain Monday night. They will continue mop up operations around the perimeter throughout Friday.

According to the Forest Service, the fire has involved more than 500 firefighters and has cost $1.4 million to date.

In addition to Rancheria Road, which is closed from the intersection with Pettitt Road for 9.2 miles to the northeast, other closures include Alder Creek Road and Campground, Evans Flat Camp and Oak Flat Lookout.

However, nearly all of the recreational opportunities in the Kern River Ranger District and vicinity remain open. Camping, mountain bike riding, hunting, fishing and hiking are available, according to the Forest Service.

Campfires and barbecues are not allowed, although gas stoves are permissable in designated areas with a Forest Service permit.

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