Brush fire likely sparked by lightning grows to 1,800 acres near Grapevine in Kern County

A map of southern Kern County shows where the Thunder fire was burning east of Interstate 5
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A brush fire in Kern County grew to 1,800 acres Wednesday night as firefighters continued working to bring the blaze under control.

The Thunder fire was holding at 10% containment around 8:30 p.m., according to the Kern County Fire Department. Smoke caused reduced visibility on Interstate 5 earlier in the day.

The blaze broke out Wednesday morning southeast of I-5 and Edmonston Pumping Plant Road near the Grapevine, firefighters said.


Thunder, lightning, rain and heavy winds hit as monsoonal moisture moves through the region.

June 22, 2022

Authorities believe it is “highly likely” that lightning sparked the fire, but its official cause remained under investigation, said Capt. Andrew Freeborn, a Fire Department spokesperson.

There were 250 fire personnel battling the blaze, according to the Fire Department.

Further information was not available.

Thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes hit across Southern California on Wednesday, bringing scattered rain, heavy winds and hail to some parts as officials kept high alert for fires.

In Pico Rivera, a woman and her two dogs were killed by a lightning strike while walking on a path along the San Gabriel River.