Wildfire devours 60 homes in California, hundreds flee (PHOTOS)
Up to 60 houses have been destroyed by a rapidly spreading wildfire in Kern County, Central California on Thursday. The blaze comes as firefighters are fighting several other brush fires across the state.
The inferno, dubbed the Erskine fire after the nearby Erskine Creek Road, erupted northeast of Bakersfield near Lake Isabella during the late afternoon due to extreme heat and a drop in humidity, authorities said. It quickly spread over some 2,500 acres prompting evacuation in several communities and from a hospital.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated and a thousand more homes are said to be under threat.
Numerous pictures of the fire and heavy smoke devouring the area were all over social media.
Live video posted by fire department officials showed the blaze spreading over Squirrel Mountain Valley consuming hillside houses and roads.
The fire is “extremely dangerous, extremely volatile,” fire Captain Tyler Townsend said as quoted by AP.
It consumed “more than I can remember in any fire in the last several years,” Townsend said. “In a matter of four hours, it’s burned through several communities.”
No casualties have been reported so far.
The Erskine fire is the latest in a series of massive wildfires seen by Southern California over the past few weeks. It comes as nearly 5,000 firefighters are working to contain five other major fires across the state, Reuters reports.
The National Weather Service forecasts said the temperatures in California could rise over the weekend and spark even more fires.