Erica Bain

Emergency Operations Center Activated for Advanced Planning of Snowmelt Impacts


May 9, 2023


The Kern County Fire Chief & Director of Emergency Services, Aaron Duncan, announces the activation of the Emergency Operations Center in advanced preparation for record level snow melt.


Between October 2022 and March 2023, 31 Atmospheric Rivers made landfall all along the West Cost. These severe weather events contributed to a snowpack in the Southern Sierra Mountains that was more than 300% above average. Since that time, local County and City departments have been working together with state and federal agencies to determine the potential impact the snowmelt could have on our communities.


“We cannot stop or change the weather patterns coming into the County. What we will do is be prepared for what may come,” said Fire Chief Aaron Duncan. “I have gathered Kern County Department Heads, Bakersfield City leaders, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Water Resources, and other technical experts to make sure we are getting the latest and most detailed information about the situation so we can work together to mitigate potential hazards and issues.”


The Kern River Watermaster and US Army Corps of Engineers have been gradually increasing the outflow from Lake Isabella to make room for the forecasted snowmelt inflow. We will continue to work with these professionals to evaluate how much that flow will need to increase or decrease in the coming days and weeks.


The Kern County Fire Department will release information as it becomes available to clarify the efforts undertaken for public safety. In the meantime, please take this time to sign up for emergency notifications at ReadyKern.com and subscribe to kerncountyfire.org for incident updates.

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