Horses killed, school and homes evacuated as fire rages in south Bakersfield

Horses are being evacuated as a grass fire encroaches on their stables in the area of Cottonwood Road in south Bakersfield, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Alberto Garcia)

NOTE: The number of horses killed has increased since the attached video aired at 5 p.m. Monday.


A south Bakersfield grass fire on Monday left 23 horses dead, with even more evacuated as flames encroached on their stables.

"Countless" other animals died in the fire, according to the Bakersfield Fire Department.

Crews were forced to evacuate Fairview Elementary School and homes near Cottonwood Road. No human injuries were reported.

The fire was contained, and evacuations were lifted a few hours after it erupted around noon amid windy conditions.

Fire Department Public Information Officer John Frando estimated the fire burned between 300 and 400 acres. Two vacant houses, one occupied home, 29 sheds and 91 vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the fire.

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