The Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 58 north to the border of Sequoia National Forest has been closed due to the Jawbone Complex fires burning since Friday, Aug. 10.
As of the latest report just after 8 a.m. today, the fires – including the Jawbone and Rim fires – had grown to 12,191 acres with containment estimated at 45 percent.
A firefighter was injured on the afternoon of Aug. 14, while constructing hand line on the Rim Fire. He was treated on scene and then air lifted to Kern Medical Center where he was treated and released, according to Jim Wilkins, information officer for the Southern California Incident Management Team #2 took over management of the fire at 6 a.m. Monday, working in conjunction with Kern County Fire Dept. and the Bureau of Land Management.
Using Tehachapi as a base of operations, more than 1105 people are aggressively fighting the fire using air and land resources.
The two fires are located 20 miles North of Mojave near the Sierra Crest and about 10 miles west of Highway 14.
At a community meeting on Monday night firefighters estimated the southern edge of the Rim Fire was 2.5 to 4 miles from inhabited areas of Sand Canyon.
They asked residents to be aware of the fire and alert, but said there was no immediate threat.
Incident commander John Truett said the fuels between Sand Canyon and the active fire are lighter than those in the higher elevations where extreme fire behavior was seen on Monday and would be easier to control if the fire moves toward Sand Canyon or Twin Oaks.
Earlier estimates were for containment by Friday, but the latest information shows containment is expected by noon Saturday.
At least three wind turbines have been lost to the fire and additional turbines might be threatened. At Monday night’s meeting in Sand Canyon Truett said he expected perhaps 10-15 more to be lost.
The turbines belonged to NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. based in Juno Beach, Fla. The turbines were part of the company’s Sky River Wind Project, a 75-megawatt wind farm comprising 327 turbines that NextEra purchased in 1991.
At Monday night’s meeting Truett acknowledged that the turbines were among resources being protected and that some of the older ones were particularly fragile and sensitive to the high heat generated by the fire.
He also noted that roads in the area created for the wind parks have been beneficial for firefighters.
The Bakersfield Californian contributed to this story.
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