LOST HILLS — Dying winds allowed firefighters to take control Monday of the Antelope Fire, a 5,196-acre, 19-mile circumference wildfire that broke out by an oil field near Lost Hills Sunday and spread west into San Luis Obispo County.
Fire crews and equipment were pouring out of western Kern County by the early afternoon as firefighters began mopping up around charred grasslands and blackened hillsides in the Temblor Mountains.
Kern County Fire Engineer Leland Davis reported at about noon Monday that the fire was 75 percent contained. Later in the day it reached 90 percent conatainment. Full containment is expected by 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“The wind has been very favorable to us since (Sunday) night,” Davis said. He added that in addition to difficult access and minimal water resources, gusts were a big factor in the fire’s fast spread Sunday from its origination eight miles southwest of the intersection of Highways 33 and 46 into San Luis Obispo County, where it burned 908 acres.
Two buildings were destroyed in the blaze, both of them unoccupied; Davis said one of the buildings had a degree of historical significance as a cowboy camp. Oil field equipment was threatened but not damaged. One firefighter suffered a minor hand injury.
Nearly 600 firefighters were called in from departments in Kern, Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties. The federal Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the state Department of Corrections contributed personnel and resources as well.
Equipment used to fight the fire include five water-dropping helicopters, four air tankers, 38 fire engines and eight bulldozers, the county Fire Department said in a news release.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Davis said.