2 dead, 200 homes burned in Central California wildfire

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., June 27 (UPI) — At least two people have died and 200 homes have been destroyed in the wildfire that is now 40 percent contained in Central California, authorities said Sunday.

The Erskine fire near Lake Isabella has burned approximately 43,360 acres and “additional fatalities are possible,” authorities said.

More than 1,700 fire personnel are fighting the blaze Sunday, where lighter winds — though still hot and dry — are allowing firefighters are to catch up. At least 2,500 homes are still threatened, authorities said.

Two elderly couple were likely killed after being overcome by smoke. Firefighters found what appear to be human remains in the ashes of a mobile home. Forensic investigators are determining if they are human or an animal, Kern County Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, sending money and resources to put out the fire and also to aid in the aftermath.

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