Updated 4:18 p.m.
Another community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. tonight at Wallace Elementary School at 3240 Erskine Road in Lake Isabella.
Updated 3:48 p.m.
The Salvation Army continues to provide food and water at the shelter for Erskine Fire refugees set up at Kernville Elementary School, the charity said in a news release Monday.
The shelter currently houses 75 people, but an average of 200 to 300 people are served during each meal as many other residents only have temporary accommodations, the release said. About 1,600 meals were served over the weekend to people displaced by the fire.
The Salvation Army will continue to serve meals as long as the shelter remains open.
To support The Salvation Army’s disaster response, send a check earmarked “Kern County Wildfire” to your local Salvation Army office, donate online at http://salar.my/kerncountyfires, or make a credit card donation at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Be sure to designate the donation for “Kern County Wildfires.”
Updated 2:36 p.m.
Anyone with a missing or unaccounted for family member or friend as a result of the Erskine Fire is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 861-3110, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.
The Sheriff's Office cannot take reports on its Facebook page, nor can it monitor reports posted on Facebook or other social media sites.
Updated 12:47 p.m.
We reported on Friday that Kern Valley High football coach Brandon Deckard spent the weekend in Bakersfield not knowing if his family's home was destroyed by the fire.
Deckard said he made it back this morning to the house undamaged and he was able to conduct a football practice.
"Yes we had practice today for the first time, and I had about 20 players there," Deckard said. "A few lost their homes and most were evacuated but still managed to get to practice, couldn't believe it, very proud of them them."
— Staff writer Trevor Horn
Updated 12:22 p.m.
Yankee Canyon and Mountain Mesa reopened to residents at 12 p.m., according to the U.S. Forest Service. Bottled water will be available, but electrical power has not been restored.
Squirrel Valley and South Lake remain closed. Road closures remain in effect at McCray Road and Dogwood, and Entrada and Highway 178.
Areas east of South Lake along Highway 178 have also been reopened, a Forest Service release said. Larson Tract, Navajo, Hillview Acres, Bella Vista and Weldon are all open and have electrical power.
Water safety guidelines should be followed, the release said.
A road closure is in place at Kelso Valley and Kelso Creek Roads.
Updated 12:10 p.m.
Kern County sheriffs’ deputies arrested a person last night walking in an area that had been closed off due to the fire, sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said at the press conference. The person was carrying two guns in a duffel bag.
Pruitt added that law enforcement have received reports from area residents of media trespassing on private property and sifting through rubble. Pruitt said the media has a right to be in areas affected by a natural disaster, but he asked that it be respectful of people’s property.
Updated 11:57 a.m.
Residents will be allowed back into communities east of South Lake that did not sustain burn damage. Areas such as Yankee Canyon, Mountain Mesa and Weldon will be reopened today, Kern County Fire Deputy Chief Brent Moon said during a 10 a.m. press conference.
Electrical power has been restored to communities east of South Lake.
Updated 10:46 a.m.
Kern County sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt has confirmed the remains found Saturday in the 4100 block of Fiddleneck Street in South Lake were animal, not human. South Lake was one of the communities hit hardest by the fire.
Updated 10:44 a.m.
Fire costs to date are at $7.6 million. Expected containment date is Thursday, June 30.
Updated 9:32 a.m.
Since it erupted late Thursday afternoon, the Erskine Fire has burned 45,338 acres in the Lake Isabella area and destroyed at least 250 structures. Two fatalities have been confirmed.
Containment is at 40 percent, according to InciWeb, which tracks wildfires.
A total of 2,079 personnel from around the state are battling the fire in hot weather and steep, rugged terrain.
InciWeb reports road closures remain in effect for Highway 178 at Sierra Way, Kelso Valley, and Lake Isabella, and Kelso Valley at Kelso Creek are closed. Precautionary evacuation orders are in place for Squirrel Valley, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Lake Isabella (Erskine Creek area), and the Weldon area, including Landers Meadow and Claraville.
The Kern County Emergency Operations Center said in a news release there is a surplus of water and personal/household items that have been donated to victims of the fire.
“Although the generosity is appreciated, the donations of these items is becoming difficult to manage,” the release said. “The most effective way to support the victims of the fire is to provide monetary donations to the Red Cross or the United Way and specify that the funds are for the Erskine Fire relief.”
Donations of animal supplies are being accepted at the Kern County Animal Services facility at 14891 Highway 178 in Lake Isabella, the release said. The shelter will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for donations.