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Homes destroyed as fire rages near Kernville, Wofford Heights

KERNVILLE, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The Way Fire continues to burn and threaten homes and other structures in the area of Wofford Heights and Kernville.

The wildfire was first reported as 3 to 5 acres around 3 p.m. Monday in the area of Jeanette Way and Earl Pacsco Road.

By Tuesday, the fire had destroyed six homes and consumed 3,195 acres of grass, brush and scattered pine on the north side of Highway 155. As many as 12 known structures are damaged.

The good news on Tuesday: The size of the fire didn't grow during the day, and crews gained 5 percent containment.

The fire is being fought on lands administered by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Kern County Fire Department.

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Officials are still assessing the structural damage. Some of the damage could be to outbuildings or other structures that aren't homes.

No injuries have been reported, according to an interagency report.

Recommended evacuations in Kernville are Burlando Road, Frontier Lane and Plater Road. The evacuation center is set up at Kern Valley High School in Lake Isabella.

Evacuations for the area of Wofford Heights that burned Monday night were lifted around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill told The Associated Press earlier Tuesday that about 200 homes are in the evacuation zone.

A large-animal rescue center has been set up at McNally Ranch in Lake Isabella. Call (760) 223-6736 for more information.

Hwy. 155 is closed at Sierra Vista, Adams, Mountain View and Rock Haven.

The fire established itself Monday in a drainage and quickly spread uphill to Split Mountain, according to fire officials. It continues to burn south towards Wofford Heights and east towards Kernville.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state in combating the Way Fire.

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