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Friday marks 1-year anniversary of deadly, destructive Erskine Fire

Amy Nelson, 30, breaks down as she goes through the remains of her home devastated by the Erskine Fire, Saturday, June 25, 2016, in South Lake, Calif. "I didn't think it was going to be this bad," said Nelson. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

It was just before 4 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2016.

A typical weekday afternoon in the Kern River Valley was over, and the horror and agony of the Erskine Fire were beginning.

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Friday marks the year anniversary of one of the most destructive wildfires in state history. More than 280 homes were destroyed, and two people lost their lives. The fire blackened nearly 50,000 acres.


The Erskine Fire was caused by an electrical line in a tree, strung between two buildings. The privately operated electrical line was worn down over time and created a spark in the brush. To date, no one has been criminally charges with starting the fire.

With just that spark, the fire exploded in size, fueled by wind, heat and low humidity.

Now, the people of the Kern River Valley continue to rebuild and move forward with their lives. Some who were left homeless after the Erskine Fire have moved into housing units the county acquired from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Eyewitness News will have more on the anniversary of the Erskine Fire on Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. Friday on KBAK-CBS.

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