At least four fires follow quakes

KCFD advises preparedness while causes are still under investigation

At least four fires follow quakesBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

At least four fires broke out in the Ridgecrest area immediately following the earthquakes that shook the high desert during the week of July 4 according to the Kern County Fire Department. Kern County Fire Stations 74 and 77 handled multiple calls immediately after the 6.4- and 7.1- magnitude quakes on July 4 and 5 respectively.

“At this time, we have no reason to suspect any intentional or criminal fires in the affected area,” said Freeborn. He added that insurance companies needed to complete fire cause investigations before directly attributing any fires to the earthquakes.

“But we encourage everyone to continue thinking ‘fire safe,’” he said. The KCFD advises everyone to make sure water heaters are well secured, potentially compromised utilities are shut off and that no fires, gas lamps or candles are left unattended.

In the event of another power outage, it’s recommended residents keep coolers handy for refrigerated food, secure access to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration broadcast (nws.noaa.gov) and leave your vehicle with at least half a tank of gas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an Earthquake Safety Checklist available online (fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3234).

The department also advised residents to be aware of possible Public Safety Power Shutoffs that may affect some utility customers. More information can be found at Southern California Edison’s and Pacific Gas & Electric’s websites.

Story First Published: 2019-07-12