California: Grand Fire threatens structures near Frazier Park

Grand Fire 5-15-2013
Map of Grand Fire
Map of Grand Fire, 2-D, perimeter, 9:23 p.m., May 17, 2013
Map of Grand Fire
Map of Grand Fire, 3-D, perimeter, 9:23 p.m., May 16, 2013. Google Earth. Click to enlarge.

(UPDATED @ 8:40 a.m. PT, May 18, 2013)

CAL FIRE reports that there has been little to no increase in fire behavior observed. However, there are still areas of isolated flare ups of unburned islands well within the control lines. Demobilization will continue. There could be delays for resources departing the incident due to the Heartbreak Hundred Bicycle Race taking place in the area.

The updated size is 4,358 acres with 75 percent containment. Resources assigned include 1,853 personnel, 84 engines, 77 hand crews, 11 helicopters, 14 dozers, and 20 water tenders.


(UPDATED @ 8:15 a.m. PT, May 17, 2013)

Crews made significant progress overnight on the southern and northern sides of the fire, assisted by lower temperatures and higher humidity. The acreage increase to 4,100 is due to more accurate mapping, and the incident commander is calling it 35 percent contained. The US Forest Service, Kern County and Ventura County are in a Unified Command.

Resources assigned:

  • Total Fire Personnel: 1,452
  • Engines: 65
  • Fire crews: 81
  • Helicopters: 7
  • Dozers: 9
  • Water tenders: 20


(UPDATED with new maps at 12:43 p.m. PT, May 16, 2013)


(Originally published at 8:46 a.m. PT, May 16, 2013)

The Grand Fire was reported at noon on Wednesday near Frazier Park in southern California and quickly spread through light grass and medium brush, requiring the evacuation of Frazier Mountain High School. The fire remained active until 3 a.m. Thursday.

As you can see by the maps of the Grand Fire above, it is west of Interstate 5 and west of Gorman, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is near where the borders of three counties intersect: Ventura, Kern, and Los Angeles.

Grand Fire
Grand Fire, May 15, 2013 Kern County FD photo

At 7 a.m.Thursday the Southern California Geographic Area Operations Center said the fire had burned 2,800 acres as of 3 a.m. and was 25 percent contained. Kern County’s report at 7:20 a.m. said it was 3,500 acres with 15 percent containment and 1,000 firefighters were assigned. Approximately seven air tankers worked the fire Wednesday and six helicopters will be assist firefighters Thursday.

Agencies affected include the Los Padres National Forest, and the counties of Kern and Ventura.

Initial efforts by firefighters Thursday morning will concentrate on the southern edge of the fire with hand lines and dozer breaks on the western edge. Helicopters will be assisting crews on the ground.

CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 6, with Incident Commander Kaslin, has arrived and transition is planned for 6 p.m. today.

KERO TV in Bakersfield has live streaming video of a fire that may be the Grand fire, but these streams come and go and might disappear as news priorities change.

Grand Fire 5-15-2013
Grand Fire May 15, 2013. Photo by Melody Fountain.

Training is underway this week for the two California National Guard C-130 Modular Airborne FireFighting Systems (MAFFS) air tankers based at the 146th Airlift Wing base at Point Mugu in Ventura County. It will be interesting to see if they do some training retardant drops on the Grand Fire which is 46 miles from the base.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “California: Grand Fire threatens structures near Frazier Park”

  1. Hi Bill,
    I’m interested in wild fire history 1965 -1970 for the Frasier Park/Mount Pinos area, Kern county in California. Do you have an idea where I can find this information?
    Thanks you

  2. I just wanted to thank you for the Grand Fire Google map. I was searching all over for it an you are the only one that has it. I am really bummed out because the forest area there is one of the few that are left for the avid Off-road motorcycle rider. My dad taught me to ride a motorcycle there in 1985. So sad. Was just there at Thanksgiving.


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