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Wildfire Sparked By Plane Crash Threatens 150 Homes

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a fire ignited by a deadly plane crash in central California has grown to more than seven miles and threatening about 150 homes.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore Reports

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday that the fire is threatening homes south of Tehachapi. Officials have ordered 650 residents in 150 homes to evacuate.

“The fire is about 4800 acres and five percent contained,” said Kern County fire spokesman Kerry Wright.

State fire officials say it’s being fueled by 10- to 18 mph winds.

About 600 firefighters, backed by a DC-10 jumbo jet tanker and more than a dozen other aircraft, are battling the fire in 90-degree heat. They’re focused on setting a perimeter between the fire and populated areas and protecting wind farms.

The fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees in steep rugged terrain with heavy fuels, and a high mortality of Digger Pines, according to the Kern County Fire Department.

It is moving southeast towards the communities of Old West Ranch, Tehachapi City and Oak Creek while Windmill Farms, Southern California Edison Infrastructure, and power lines continue to be threatened.

Firefighters are working in extreme conditions – high heat, low humidity, with the potential for erratic winds.

Fire crews continue to diligently protect structures, construct direct handline, and build bulldozer perimeter lines.

Meanwhile, a 1,100-acre blaze along the main interstate between Southern California and Las Vegas is 95 percent contained.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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