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Evacuations ordered as brush fire rages near Tehachapi

A fast-moving brush fire near Tehachapi on Sunday forced the evacuation of at least 100 homes under threat.

September 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A small plane that crashed near Tehachapi burst into flames, killing one person and sparking a fast-moving brush fire that forced residents to flee from at least 100 homes.

A small Cessna went down in Blackburn Canyon, just southeast of Bakersfield, about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Authorities do not know how many people were on the plane but they confirmed one death.

Fire officials said erratic winds and steep, rugged terrain have challenged firefighting efforts. As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the fire burned out of control and it was 0 percent contained.

The fire burned 3,500 acres of dry brush and destroyed one home. No injuries from the fire have been reported.

Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for 100 homes under threat. People were ordered to evacuate the areas south of Highline Road, north of Oak Creek, west of White Oak and east Water Canyon.

A relief center for evacuees was opened at Jacobsen Middle School at 711 Anita Dr.

More than 600 firefighters, 25 engines, 15 dozers, four helicopters and 11 air tankers were on scene battling dry, windy conditions as well as heavy fuel that includes beetle-infested trees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.