Wildfire Spreads Over 45,000 Acres in California as Search Through Destruction Continues

iStock/Thinkstock(KERN COUNTY, Calif.) — Many residents in Kern County, California, have lost their homes in a deadly fire still burning through the area, while others have been denied access to their houses amid the catastrophic destruction left behind.

Two people have died and at least 200 homes have been destroyed in the Erskine fire, which has spread to over 45,000 acres. Officials continue to search through the charred rubble using a team of cadaver dogs, which they expect to extend for about three more days. On Saturday, some animal remains were found.

The fast-moving fire is 40 percent contained as of this morning, according to the spokesperson for Cal Fire, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Daniel Berlant. More than 2,000 people are helping to fight the blaze.

Chief Brian Marshall of the Kern County Fire Department described the blaze as mother nature and a spark colliding.

Brandi Pettit, an evacuee who said she learned from a neighbor that her home didn't make it, said, "Losing a house at age 29, it's hard," through tears. "I don't wish this on [anybody]."

Another woman told ABC News she feels "homeless and helpless."

Eighty-one evacuees are in shelters; residents whose homes were not affected will be allowed to return home Monday.
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