On Thursday afternoon, the proximity of Bakersfield near Lake Isabella was caught in a wildfire that managed to displace dozens of families, although there were no injuries reported.
The fire was noted by authorities as dangerous for the communities of Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, Onyx, South Fork and Yankee Cannon.
Hundreds of firefighters were deployed on Thursday, but even more are expected on Friday to contain the blaze. It was named Erskine fire, due to its origin being on Erskine Creek Road. It first submerged Bakersfield and it managed to spread over an area of 2,500 acres.
The smoke could be seen from miles at a distance. The sky saw dozens of emergency aircraft trying to provide firefighting relief by dropping water on the flames.
— Kern County Fire (@kerncountyfire) June 24, 2016
More wildfires in California
According to Sequoia National Forest spokeswoman Geri Jackson, the fire resulted from some of the worst conditions imaginable. Jackson commented to LA Times that the wind, the heat and the low humidity paired up to create a disastrous wildfire that managed to spread rapidly. Power supply and communications were affected by the flames. TV stations recorded how the fire moved downhill and started consuming the nearby homes, reaching propane tanks and causing explosions. Many mobile homes were subject to the flames, along with all of its inhabitants’ belongings.
Homes and dirt roads were scorched by the fire, but in spite of the danger, many residents refused to evacuate. Many houses remained out of harm while others were engulfed by the Erskine fire. The local fire department posted a video on Facebook showing how the flames spread over Squirrel Mountain Valley.
Evacuation centers were established at Senior Center, 6405 Lake Isabella Boulevard and Kern Valley High School, 3340 Erskine Creek Road.
Not the first, not the last
The Erskine fire is just another in the series of wildfires that have besieged the state of California. Earlier this week Duarte and Azusa saw a similar fire that lasted almost four days. Another fire in San Diego spanned 11 square miles and just today some residents have been able to return to their homes.
High temperatures and low humidity have caused a significant amount of wildfires in the past few weeks. National Weather Service meteorologists assert that Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara could reach 100 degrees over the course of the weekend, which could divert into more massive and more dangerous fires. Lake Isabella is currently under a Red Flag Warning, specifically from June 24 10:00 a.m. PDT until 10 p.m.
Red Flag Warnings indicate that a locality will be subject to the perfect conditions for disastrous wildfires to occur. Firefighters often alter their staff and what equipment they use if the location of the fire is under a Red Flag Warning. These warnings are usually seen when there are drought conditions, very low humidity, and when there is a high chance of erratic winds that may even be accompanied by lightning. The criteria for issuing a Red Flag Warning varies depending on the local vegetation and the proximity of natural water sources.