Largest is Cotton Fire that is spreading onto Carrizo Plains. Another fire burns 360 acres east of Maricopa


Three major brush fires broke out  in the area on Saturday, keeping Kern County and Bureau of Land Management firefighters busy.

The largest is the Cotton Fire which started just after 9 a.m. Saturday off Highway 166 five miles west of New Cuyama.
That fire spread rapidly and by Sunday morning had burned 1500 acres by nightfall on Saturday.

By 9 a.m. Sunday, it had grown to 1800 acres and was 45 percent contained, BLM spokeswoman Michelle Puckett said.

The fire is burning to the northeast and is spreading onto the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

There are 225 firefighters working that fire, including a BLM engine from the Midway Station in Taft, and containment isn’t expected until some time on Monday, Puckett said.

There is no structures in the fire area, but some radio towers in the Morales Canyon area may be threatened.

Since the Carrizo is considered a wilderness area, use of some heavy firefighting equipment like bulldozers may not be allowed, Puckett said.

A second fire broke out Saturday on the Carrizo in the Washburn Ranch area.

Few details are available but that fire burned 300 to 400 acres, Puckett said.

Later on Saturday another fire broke out east of Maricopa on he south side of Highway 166.

That fire started about 3:30 p.m. and burned 360 acres, KCFD Battalion Chief Brent Moon said.

It threatened sheep grazing in the area for a time, according to reports from the scene.

Firefighters also responded to a small grass fire off Randall Road in the Fellows area and a fire that burned a chicken coop and fence behind a home on Henry Road.