Tehachapi fire 91% contained, 32 homes destroyed

Kern Fire Department

Photo courtesy of Kern Fire Dept.

Photo Courtesy of Kern Fire Dept.

Photo Courtesy of Kern Fire Dept.

TEHACHAPI – New statistics are out on the massive wildfire near Tehachapi that was caused by a plane crash Sunday (9/4).

Updated figures as of 7 a.m. Friday reveal 32 residences and 19 vehicles have been destroyed. The fire has burned through 14,802 acres and is 91% contained with full containment expected by 6 p.m. Friday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

There were two deaths and five injuries, and cost to date is estimated at $9.4 million.

By Friday morning there was minimal fire activity and firefighters were working on controlling hot spot flare-ups and completing controlled burns inside the fire perimeter. All evacuations and road closures have been lifted. CAL FIRE is encouraging residents returning to their communities to do a thorough inspection of their property and look for hazards such as gas leaks, dangerously burned trees, and power lines. Residents who lost property can contact the Red Cross at 661-824-6427 (after hours 1-800-951-5600).

The massive wild fire started around 11:30 a.m. Sunday when a single-engine Cessna went down and then burst into flames at Blackburn Canyon Road at Snowshoe Lane in Tehachapi. Two men reportedly died in the plane crash — John Nuckolls, 55, and Walter Johnson, 72.