500 homes evacuated in Kern County wildfire

 Shirley Fire
A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant on the Shirley Fire in Sequoia National Forest on Saturday.
(Casey Christie / The Bakersfield Californian/Associated Press)

A wildfire in Sequoia National Forest more than doubled in size overnight to about 1,800 acres, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill said Sunday.

The fire prompted the evacuation of about 500 homes and the closure of local roads and Highway 155 near Wofford Heights, about 30 miles northeast of Bakersfield, Thill said.

“I have not heard of any residences lost or anyone hurt,” she said.

The fire was spotted Friday and by Saturday night had grown to 810 acres with 5% containment, officials said. An updated containment figure was not available Sunday, Thill said.


Dubbed the Shirley fire, it is burning just west of Lake Isabella, a popular recreation area.

Hundreds of firefighters, including about 120 from 100 Kern County, were battling the blaze on Sunday, officials said.

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