Incident Report

Kern County Fire Department
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Jonathan Drucker

Orchard Incident - Vegetation Fire
DATE: July 3, 2024
TIME: 14:12

Incident Number

2429186

Incident tYPE

Vegetation Fire
Location: Highline Rd @ Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd
Closest Community: Tehachapi
Cause: Under Investigation

Incident Narrative

TEHACHAPI, Calif., Yesterday afternoon, Kern County firefighters were dispatched to reports of a vegetation fire on the north side of Highline Rd. just west of Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd. On their arrival, firefighters were faced with a fire in thick brush, approximately 5 acres in size. Afternoon winds, growing in strength, moved the fire with momentum towards Highline Rd. A quick attempt was made to hold the road, however the flames, now 40 feet tall, could not be stopped. The Battalion Chief arrived on scene and organized resources, creating geographical divisions and a structure protection group. Due to extensive emergency activity throughout Kern County, fire equipment responded from fires at all ends of the county to assist. ReadyKern emergency notifications were sent, advising residents in the area of the fire threat and current evacuation status. The towering flames were tamed thanks to the arrival of air resources. An aggressive attack was made with air tankers and helicopters knocking down the fire front from the air and allowing ground crews to hold the line. Firefighters saved several homes by firing out around them and creating a buffer to halt advancing flames. A close eye was kept on the Mountain Meadows community as the fire bumped up against the edges of the neighborhood. Wind turbines and other infrastructure within the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area were also protected as the fire was stopped just as it entered the wind farm. Firefighters worked throughout the night reinforcing containment lines and extinguishing hot spots.

The fire burned 830 acres and is currently 35% contained. All evacuations have been lifted and affected zones are returned to normal status. No injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation. Fire crews will remain on scene until tomorrow morning, July 5th. 

Injuries/Fatalities

Injuries: 0
Fatalities: 0

Property Lost/Saved

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

KCFD Equipment Assigned

Engines: E12, E13, E14, E83, E85, E87, E311, E316, E318
Patrols: P12, P13, P14, P15, P48, P76, P85, P87
Trucks: None
Specialty Equipment: AU1, AU5, CREW10, DIV4, DO2, DOZ1, DOZ2, DOZ6, FLS1, BATT1, BATT20, BATT21, BATT4, SF4, WT12, INFO2, REEFER

Total Personnel

77

Assisting Agencies

Cal Fire, Coulson Aviation, SCE, KCSO, TPD, CHP

On Call Fire Information Officer

Phone: 1-661-330-0133

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