The Cedar Fire burning at the Tulare and Kern county lines west of Kernville has grown to 17,986 acres and was only 5 percent contained Sunday morning.
Fire officials will provide updates and answer questions at two public meetings on Sunday:
▪ Linns Valley-Poso Flat Elementary School, 158 White River Road, Glennville, at 5 p.m.
▪ Ducor Union Elementary School cafeteria, 23761 Ave. 56, Ducor, at 7:30 p.m.
Around 1,200 fire personnel are battling the large blaze, which began Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. A closure order was issued Saturday by the Sequoia National Forest for all lands, roads and trails near the fire.
Around 759 homes were threatened Friday and more than 1,500 residents had evacuated. The Incident Information System website listed road closures around the burning area and evacuation centers available to the public.
An evacuation center is open at Granite Hills High School in Porterville, capable of sheltering pets like cats and dogs. Large animals and livestock sheltering is available by contacting Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue at 918-541-3573.
St. Jude’s Catholic Church at 86 Nellie Dent Drive and First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella are open for shelter.
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 $8.2 million, and firefighters hope to have the fire at full containment by Sept. 15, the Forest Service said.
There was a slight chance of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon for the fire area, but no significant rain is expected, according to the incident information website.
The wildfire is under investigation.