VIDEO | Officials estimate 80 homes lost in California wildfire
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A wildfire has destroyed an estimated 80 homes in the Lake Isabella area, according to authorities.
The blaze, named the Erskine Fire, is burning about 5,000 acres south of Highway 178, according to the InciWeb interagency fire information website.
Evacuations are in effect for Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley and Yankee Canyon.
An evacuation center is set up at Kernville Elementary School, 13350 Sierra Way in Kernville.
Incident information for the public, within Kern County, can be obtained by calling 211.
Around 1,500 more homes are threatened, according to fire officials. The fire exploded in size within about an hour's period of time Thursday afternoon.
The losses for the area were "more than I can remember in any fire in the last several years," Kern County Fire Department Capt. Tyler Townsend told The Associated Press. "In a matter of four hours, it's burned through several communities."
There are 350 firefighters on scene, with several hundred more on their way.
Two firefighters were taken to a hospital after suffering smoke inhalation, according to the KCFD.
Caltrans reported a full closure of Hwy. 178 near Bodfish and Lake Isabella because of the fire.
Power is out in the Lake Isabella area, and AT&T cellular in not working, according to the KCFD.
The Bureau Of Land Management and KCFD are both on incident command.
The California Office of Emergency Services announced a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help in the fight against the Erskine Fire.
Authorities haven't said what caused the fire.