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Some Erskine Fire Evacuation Orders Continue as Devastating Blaze Is 40 Percent Contained

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Tyra Rene Fuller tears up a she finds a porcelain cast of her daughter's handprint while sorting through what's left of her belongings after her home was destroyed by the Erskine Fire. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

A devastating wildfire burning northeast of Bakersfield in Kern County continued to grow over the weekend and has now scorched more than 70 square miles, destroyed 150 homes and left entire communities under threat.

The Erskine fire covered 45,388 acres, was 40% contained Monday morning and has drawn more than 2,000 firefighters into the battle, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Since the fire began Thursday, hundreds of residents have been staying in evacuation centers waiting to return, unsure if their homes are still standing. A cause for the fire is under investigation.

“That’s all we need — more information,” said Robert Larsen, a resident staying at Kernville Elementary School. “Is my home there?”

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