California wildfire scorches 30 square miles: 80 homes destroyed

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KERN COUNTY, Calif. -- An out-of-control wildfire driven by winds burned nearly 30 square miles in 18 hours.

According to InciWeb, the Erskine Fire has burned 19,034 acres and destroyed nearly 100 structures, with 1,500 more structures threatened. The fire sparked around 4 p.m. Thursday.

Eighty homes were destroyed, officials said in a news conference Friday morning. That number is likely to grow.

The fire was 0-percent contained.

"The mountainous terrain, five years of drought and wind gusts of over 20 mph all drove a fire over 11 miles in 13 hours," said Kern County Fire Department Chief Brian Marshall, according to KTLA.

"Our firefighters ... have been engaged in a firefight of epic proportions, trying to save every structure possible."

He said there were not enough fire engines and firefighters to stage in front of all the threatened structures.

Three firefighters have suffered smoke inhalation.

"Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and the winds will lessen and allow our firefighters a fighting chance," Marshall said.

Evacuations have been ordered for the areas of Bella Vista, South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Mountain Mesa, South Lake, Squirrel Valley, and Yankee Canyon.

According to InciWeb, 350 firefighters were at the scene with hundreds more on the way.