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Flames lap Oak Creek pass

The fire was caused by burning debris from a wind turbine that caught fire due to a malfunction.

Flames that marched across the hills of Oak Creek Pass on May 26 brought firefighters from several jurisdictions to battle the area’s first large-scale fire of the season.

The fire began about 2:10 p.m. west of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road approximately one mile south of Oak Creek Road and burned approximately 900 acres of desert brush and grass. The fire was 40 percent contained by 10 p.m.

According to Kern County Fire Department inspector Tony Diffenbaugh, 241 firefighters battled the fire.

“Crews were assisted by airtankers, helicopters and bulldozers, however, the air operation was halted after about two hours due to high wind conditions,” he said.
Diffenbaugh also said that rugged terrain along with the high wind conditions hampered containment efforts.

He said firefighters constructed an fire break approximately seven miles long and used Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road to stop the spread of the fire.

“Several spot fires on the east side of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road that were started by wind blown embers were quickly extinguished by firefighters,” Diffenbaugh said.

He said that several structures in the area, including homes and wind energy producing equipment, were threatened... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Flames that marched across the hills of Oak Creek Pass on May 26 brought firefighters from several jurisdictions to battle the area’s first large-scale fire of the season.
 
The fire began about 2:10 p.m. west of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road approximately one mile south of Oak Creek Road and burned approximately 900 acres of desert brush and grass. The fire was 40 percent contained by 10 p.m.
 
According to Kern County Fire Department inspector Tony Diffenbaugh, 241 firefighters battled the fire.
 
“Crews were assisted by airtankers, helicopters and bulldozers, however, the air operation was halted after about two hours due to high wind conditions,” he said.
Diffenbaugh also said that rugged terrain along with the high wind conditions hampered containment efforts.
 
He said firefighters constructed an fire break approximately seven miles long and used Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road to stop the spread of the fire.
 
“Several spot fires on the east side of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road that were started by wind blown embers were quickly extinguished by firefighters,” Diffenbaugh said.
 
He said that several structures in the area, including homes and wind energy producing equipment, were threatened by the fire.
 
Cooler temperatures and higher humidity overnight aided firefighters in their efforts to secure the perimeter of the fire.
 
Diffenbaugh said that by 7 a.m. on May 27, the fire was 80 percent contained. He said firefighters stayed on remained on the fire until May 28 until the fire is completely controlled.
 
“The reduction in the final acreage of 787 is due to more accurate mapping performed by the KCFD Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Unit,” Diffenbaugh said. “Using GPS equipment, GIS personnel mapped the entire perimeter of the fire.”
 
He said that by using a specialized computer program, the information was converted into a highly accurate map of the fire.
 
The fire was caused by burning debris from a wind turbine that caught fire due to a malfunction.
 
The firefighting operation was conducted under the command of KCFD Battalion Chief Hiedi Dinkler. California Department of Forestry, United States Forest Service, CCI fire crew and Los Angeles County Fire Department assisted with the fire.
 
Contributing writer Nick Smirnoff contributed to this article.


Source: http://www.tehachapinews.co...

JUN 3 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2907-flames-lap-oak-creek-pass
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