Wildfire Spreads Over 45,000 Acres in Erskine, California, Damage and Death Toll May Rise

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 150 homes have been destroyed in the Erskine fire, which has reportedly spread over 45,000 acres. Officials says the death toll could climb as they continue to search for victims amongst the charred buildings with a team of cadaver dogs.

One woman who lost her home told ABC News she feels "homeless and helpless."

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

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

The fast-moving fire is 40 percent contained as of Monday 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.
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