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Sign up or pay up: County to declare 76 Erskine Fire properties nuisances

In this file photo, American flags fly in the South Lake neighborhood after the Erskine Fire burned through it.

Kern County is preparing to hit 76 property owners who lost their homes in the devastating Erskine Fire with orders to remove trash and fire debris from their land.

But they can avoid the order — and costly penalties — by either cleaning up the mess or even better, signing a nine-page form letting the state do it for them for free.

The debris is potentially full of absestos, heavy metals and other public health threats, said Georgianna Armstrong, emergency services manager with the Kern County Fire Department.

So all the properties will be cleaned up

Cedar Fire

Cedar Fire at more than 26,000 acres, 15 percent contained

The Cedar Fire grew another 3,000 acres from Wednesday evening into Thursday for a total of 26,135 acres at 15 percent containment, according to fire officials.  Most of that increase is due to firefighters burning vegetation to bring the fire’s perimeter to areas where they can more easily

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CITY BEAT: 'Who you gonna call?' ask Goh and Carter

Your ears weren’t playing tricks on you at Tuesday’s mayoral forum. Mayoral candidate Karen Goh really did make a “Ghostbusters” reference. And mayoral candidate Kyle Carter really did borrow it moments later to get one of the biggest rounds of applause of the night. Interestingly, both

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