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Nine California wildfires destroy almost 70,000 acres

Nine wildfires continued to burn throughout California on Monday, as flames left nearly 70,000 acres scorched, and occupied the efforts of more than 5,000 firefighters, according to state and federal fire authorities.

The deadly Erskine fire in Kern County is the largest of the fires and has so far burned 45,388 acres since it began late Thursday, south of Lake Isabella. After destroying 250 structures and causing two deaths, the blaze is only 40% contained. 

The fire had initially been suspected of killing three people, but authorities announced Monday one set of remains found in the 4100 block of Fiddleneck, in South Lake, was determined to have belonged to an animal, not a human.  

In addition to the Erskine fire, four other major wildfires continue to burn in Southern California, although with much more containment.

The Sherpa fire, which destroyed one structure in Santa Barbara County, has burned 7,474 acres and is 93% contained.

The San Gabriel Complex fire, which is actually two separate fires – the Reservoir fire and the Fish fire –  has grown to a combined total of 5,381 acres. The Reservoir fire is 71% contained and the Fish fire is 72% contained.