The Cedar Fire has burned 12,790 acres and is 5 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday evening.
A total of 759 homes are threatened and more than 1,500 residents have been evacuated since Tuesday when the fire started. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Teresa Douglass said deputies were going door to door to notify residents of the need to evacuate. Alta Sierra, Jamison Ranch, Slick Rock, Shirley Meadows and Weeping Springs are among the areas threatened.
An American Red Cross evacuation center is open at Granite Hills High School in Porterville, and another one run by the Kern County Red Cross is open in Wofford Heights.
The fire is spreading quickly due to dead trees killed by the drought and bark beetle infestation. Firefighters hope to keep the fire north of Highway 155 and to hold the existing containment line, the Forest Service said.
The cost so far to fight the fire is estimated at $5 million, and firefighters hope to have the fire at full containment by Sept. 15, the Forest Service said.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.