CA: Piute fire July 8

The Piute fire south of Lake Isabella made some major runs late yesterday on the northwest and north sides, pushed by strong southeast winds. On the northwest side it ran for about two miles on the west side of King Solomon Ridge to King Solomon peak, and ate up significant acreage on the north side, while blowing across firelines on the west side in the Red Mountain area.

From Kern County FD:

Crews are actively engaged in structure protection around Havilah and an assessment is being made of structures lost. Along the north, contingency lines under construction will be evaluated in the morning to assess fire movement and potential alternative line locations. Crews completed indirect dozer and hand line in the Kelso Valley area to prevent the fire from moving onto private land.

The fire was reported to be, as of late yesterday, 26,285 acres and 22% contained.

Photo: Piute fire, by Michael Meadows

Update, July 8 @ 1700 MT:

From the Kern County FD site:

• Firefighters are constructing dozer line to protect the communities at risk. Dozer line will be constructed around the communities of Havilah, Bodfish, Squirrel Mountain Valley, South Lake, Bella Vista and tying back into the Kelso Valley.
• Fire made significant runs to the Northwest, pushed by strong SE winds. The fire moved 3-4 miles in the northeast corner and is now at the south rim of Bob Rabbit. On the western perimeter the fire moved 2-3 miles toward Walker Basin and is currently on Solomon Ridge. On the SW corner, the fire has not moved much and remains on the SW side of Erskine Creek. Fire increased 4462 acres.
• Fire officials are assessing damage to property in the Red Mountain area.
• Forty-five additional engines have arrived to provide structure protection and suppression support; an additional thirty engines are on order.
• A recommended evacuation notice was issued for the residents living on both sides of the Caliente/Bodfish Road.

The map was produced by Kern County FD at noon PT today.

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