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For Immediate Use                                                                                               Contact: Alison Sheehey, (760) 378-2531
May 8, 2010                                                                                                                       

Fay Fire Burns Kern River Preserve

Weldon, CA – On May 5th 2010 at approximately 1:30 P.M., the Kern County Fire Department responded to a grass fire along Fay Ranch Road in Weldon, CA. The fire burned less than an acre of Audubon's Kern River Preserve while consuming almost 100 acres of annual grassland, rabbitbrush and pine woodland habitat on the California Department of Fish & Game's Fay Canyon unit of the Canebrake Ecological Reserve. The fire eventually burned approximately 2 acres on the Miranda Allotment (Reservation of the Tubatulabal tribe) before being contained by approximately 120 firefighters from 3 agencies: Kern County Fire, US Forest Service and BLM. 

The home of our Land Steward, Sean Rowe along with 27 others were initially threatened by the fire but winds pushed the fire from the initial eastward to a more northerly direction. The fire was contained by 7:00 p.m. One abandoned mobile home was destroyed and an animal trailer was damaged in the fire.

The fire was fortunate to have started after a cool moist spring which made the plants resistant to burning. None of the trees had any crown fire development. The fire was determined to be caused by the Kern County Road Department mowing crew striking metal against a rock catching the grass on fire. Ironically the crew was mowing to prevent vehicles from catching roadside vegetation on fire.

About Audubon Kern River Preserve

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.

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