Incident Report

Kern County Fire Department

Andrew Freeborn

Cow Incident - Vegetation Fire
DATE: May 15, 2024
TIME: 11:39

Incident Number


Incident tYPE

Vegetation Fire
Location: Kern Canyon
Closest Community: Bakersfield
Cause: Undetermined

Incident Narrative

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Wednesday firefighters from the Kern River Valley and San Joaquin Valley converged upon vegetation fires reported within the Kern Canyon. Firefighters arrived on scene to find two fires approximately one mile apart. The incident was named the Cow Fire, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, assisted by the Kern County Fire Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Cal Fire, CHP, and Caltrans.


An aggressive full suppression strategy was implemented. One fire was quickly contained at two acres. The second fire spread up the steep walls of the canyon. Firefighters hiked upward from the roadway as helicopters and airplanes made water and retardant drops on the head of the fire.


While firefighters worked to contain the fire rocks and rolling fire debris were seen falling onto Highway 178. The highway was closed due to the hazard from fire, falling rocks, and heavy equipment operating on the road.


As of 7 p.m. great progress had been made on the fires estimated to have burned 132 acres. In unfavorable conditions containment had already reached 60%. Firefighters will remain on scene through the night, working to increase containment. Highway 178 is expected to reopen through the night, but all traveling through the canyon should reduce their speed and be watchful for emergency vehicles in the roadway.


Injuries: 0
Fatalities: 0

Property Lost/Saved

Estimated Value LOSS: $0
Estimated Value SAVED: $0

KCFD Equipment Assigned

Specialty Equipment:

Total Personnel


Assisting Agencies

On Call Fire Information Officer

Phone: 1-661-330-0133

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