BAKERSFIELD (AP) — Wildfires sparked by lightning strikes are burning near homes in mountainous areas of Kern County, causing some residents to flee.

Kern County Fire Department spokesman Dustin Allegranza said Sunday that over 15,000 acres, or more than 24 square miles, have burned countywide since early Saturday. Crews are focusing on two major fire complexes, made up of about seven smaller blazes.

Allegranza says a fire in the Keene Complex southeast of Bakersfield is threatening numerous structures. Residents in the communities of Keene, Hart Flat, Bear Valley, Golden Hills and Stallion Springs are being told that evacuations are recommended. He says some people have decided to leave.

There is no containment of the Keene Complex fires.

The other, the Comanche Complex, has burned over 9,500 acres southwest of Bakersfield near the city of Arvin. Two of those fires are 50 percent contained each, and one is ten percent contained.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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