Forest / Wild Fire in USA on June 24 2016 04:37 AM (UTC).
A wildfire has burned 50-60 homes in the Lake Isabella area, according to the Kern County Fire Department. The blaze, named the Erskine Fire, is burning 2,500 acres south of Highway 178, according to the InciWeb interagency fire information website. Evacuations are in effect for South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley and Yankee Canyon. The hospital has been evacuated to South Fork school. Evacuation centers are set up at Kern River Valley Senior Center, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd. in Lake Isabella, and Kern Valley High School, 3340 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella. KCFD Capt. Tyler Townsend said via telephone just before 6 p.m Thursday that about 1,000 homes are threatened. The fire exploded in size within about an hour's period of time Thursday afternoon. The losses for the area were "more than I can remember in any fire in the last several years," Townsend told The Associated Press. "In a matter of four hours, it's burned through several communities." Caltrans reported a full closure of Hwy. 178 near Bodfish and Lake Isabella because of the fire. Power is out in the Lake Isabella area, and AT and T cellular in not working, according to the KCFD. The Bureau Of Land Management and KCFD are both on incident command. Townsend didn't know yet what started the fire.