Chief: Firefighters continue to douse hotspots at Shirley fire near Bakersfield, Calif.

While the Shirley fire near Bakersfield is 100 percent contained, firefighters will stay on the scene for days to put out hotspots, the fire chief says.
By Frances Burns  |  June 24, 2014 at 10:17 AM
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif., June 24 (UPI) -- The Shirley fire, which charred more than 2,000 acres near Bakersfield, Calif., was the kind the state normally doesn't get until fall, Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall says.

Marshall said Monday the state's prolonged drought means trees, bushes and grass in the hills hold no moisture. The intense fire near Lake Isabella spread to 2,545 acres, a size firefighters in non-drought periods see in September and October.

The fire has been declared 100 percent contained. But Marshall said fire crews will be on the scene for another week.

"They are putting out hot-spots, making sure no trees will fall across the road," Marshall said.

Investigators are also trying to determine what caused the blaze. Marshall said lightning has been ruled out and one possibility is a spark from a car hitting the bone-dry vegetation.

Hundreds of people evacuated last week before the fire was brought under control.

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