Twin wildfires burn in Sequoia National Forest

Twin wildfires burn in Sequoia National Forest »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The lightning-caused Piute Complex wildfires continue to burn in the Sequoia National Forest east of Bakersfield.

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The Clear and Heald fires were initially reported shortly after noon Saturday. Cody Norris of the Sequoia National Forest said the fires were both caused by Friday night's lightning storm.

"Sometimes it just takes a day or two for a smoldering tree to pop into flames," Norris said.

The Clear Fire is the larger of the Piute Complex fires, burning an estimated 1,300 acres of brush and timber by Monday morning. That fire is located 12 miles south of Lake Isabella. Roughly 500 firefighters are battling the blaze from the land and air. Kern County Fire Department sent a strike team of engines to the Valley View community with a goal of protecting structures.

The smaller wildfire, Heald Fire, is located 8 miles to the east of Clear's fire lines in the rugged terrain of northeast Piute Mountains. It is listed at just over 300 acres in size Sunday night. Smoke jumpers have been sent into the area to fight the fire.

"We have experienced firefighters ... that are used to complexities in this area," said Norris.

Neither the Clear or Heald fire has an estimated containment date listed by the U.S. Forest Service.