Shirley Fire burns 500 acres, 5% contained

A wildfire near Shirley Meadows continues to gain strength Saturday afternoon.
ALTA SIERRA,CA- A wildfire near Shirley Meadows continued to gain strength Saturday. The Shirley Fire is burning south of Highway 155 and west of the community of Alta Sierra.

The fire began 5 p.m. Friday. There are 275 firefighters fighting the blaze.

According to the Kern County Fire Department, the Shirley Fire has burned at least 500 acres. That's significantly up from Friday, when it was first reported as 15 acres. Fortunately, at this time, no homes or structures are threatened.
The fire was just five percent contained Saturday afternoon.

Fire officials say shifting winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity pose a challenge.

"We have crew working very hard to continue to work on the containment. Right now we have 25 engines on the fire along with 15 crews, four helicopters, four air tankers and then we've actually ordered the VLAT which is a very large air tanker also on order," said Brandon Hill, public information officer for the Shirley Fire.

Crews are getting water from Lake Isabella to help put out the wildfire. They're also using fire retardant.  Forest service officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation and advise residents with health problems to stay indoors to avoid the smoke.

Fire crews say no injuries have been reported.
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