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Second brush fire breaks out in Kern County [Updated]

August 24, 2010 |  4:21 pm

Brush fire burning in Lebec

A second brush fire has broken out in Kern County and scorched at least 80 acres Tuesday afternoon as fire crews battled to contain another fire that had burned at least 750 acres, officials said.

The new blaze was reported near the Wind Wolves Preserve, a nature area near Highway 166 in the Bakersfield area, the Kern County Fire Department said.

Near the town of Lebec, air tankers were dropping fire retardant on parched hillsides and evacuations were ordered near the Chimney Canyon and Lebec Road areas as flames threatened homes, fire officials said.

[Updated at 4:32 p.m.: Authorities were evacuating 150 to 200 homes threatened by the Lebec wildfire, said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department.]

About 150 firefighters were battling the blaze on the ground amid sweltering near-record temperatures as the region baked in a summer heat wave. An evacuation center has been set up at Frazier Mountain High School.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo credit: KTLA