Communities at Kern County line face evacuation warnings from Windy Fire

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two wildfires continue to rage in Sequoia National Park, with containment weeks away.

The KNP Complex north of Porterville has burned nearly 50,000 acres and sits at 8 percent containment, but it’s the nearly 90,000 acre Windy Fire that approaches Kern County. Over the weekend, the blaze more than doubled in size, with just two percent containment.

For Jaime Gonzalez, whose family lives in the Lake Isabella area, it’s an all too familiar scene.

“I had family members, my mom, of course, had to be evacuated,” Gonzalez said. “I had friends, family members, who had to be evacuated from that French Fire. It’s just… all over again. That’s all I can say.”

Luckily, Jaime is safe from evacuation for now, but it’s a different story across the county line in Riverkern, where an evacuation warning was issued Monday morning.

Retired firefighter Jerry Moffatt has been giving fire advice to his neighbors.

“It’s the last minute, but you need to clean up around your property and so forth,” Moffatt said. “They’re going to go to the homes where they have a chance to save the property, and also protect their lives as well.”

Even now, ash falls on Riverkern like snow from a sky thick with smoke. Moffatt, who served for thirty years with Bakersfield Fire, doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

“There is a fire hydrant at the end of my property, and I will probably hook up some fire hose,” Moffatt said.

Cooler temperatures and increased humidity ahead give fire crews hope, though they also expect shifting winds later this week.

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