Special Sections : Canyon Fire

Monday, Sep 05 2011 08:12 PM

Canyon Fire grows, claims more homes

Fire officials have confirmed the loss of 12 homes to the Canyon Fire and local residents have confirmed that many — if not all — of these are on the Old West Ranch, lost during the firestorm that took place Sunday afternoon, Sept. 4.

The transition of management of the Canyon Fire from Kern County Fire Dept. to Cal Fire Incident Command Team #6 is apparently complete with the IC team taking over public information.
The Cal Fire website at 7 p.m. reported that the fire has grown to 8,644 acres with 10 percent containment.
A spokesman for the IC team confirmed that 12 residences, 18 outbuildings and three recreational vehicles have been destroyed.

Merle Carnes, president of the Old West Ranch Property Association, told the Tehachapi News that her home was among those destroyed.
"It just melted," Carnes said, "it's surreal."
Residents understand what the firefighters are dealing with, but have been very frustrated to not have more information, she said.

As late as 7 p.m. Monday, Kern County Fire and CalFire were still reporting that only one residence was lost in the fire when various individuals have known that there were more.

A spokesman for the IC team said the transition is to blame for the lack of information and that the additional resources brought in to manage the fire are working to get everyone up to speed.
As the fire has grown, it has moved toward the windmill area and early Monday evening an additional evacuation area was put in place for Willow Springs Road just north of Rosamond with 10-20 rural properties notified of the evacuation order.

Under California law, residents do not have to leave, but roads may be closed and officials may not give additional warning.

Firefighters report that 650 residences and 1500 commercial properties (likely including windmills) are threatened by the fire.

Additional updates will be filed by the Tehachapi News as more informaton becomes available.

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