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Officials: 2 men cited after sparks from mechanical saw started fire that destroyed 23 homes

July 27: Two wildfires that erupted and spread quickly in Southern California have destroyed dozens of homes including this house about five miles above Highline Road in Tehachapi and forced evacuations in remote areas of the state's Kern County. More than 30 homes were lost in the small hill community of Old West Ranch and another 150 structures were threatened, firefighters said Tuesday. (AP)

July 27: Two wildfires that erupted and spread quickly in Southern California have destroyed dozens of homes including this house about five miles above Highline Road in Tehachapi and forced evacuations in remote areas of the state's Kern County. More than 30 homes were lost in the small hill community of Old West Ranch and another 150 structures were threatened, firefighters said Tuesday. (AP)

Two men who were cutting pipe have been cited for inadvertently causing a wildfire in Kern County that destroyed 23 residences and 41 outbuildings.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the pair were using a mechanical saw on July 26 when sparks set nearby brush on fire. The blaze grew into more than 1,600 acres near Tehachapi.

The state agency says 47-year-old Daniel Gentle and 23-year-old Michael Kulikoff were issued misdemeanor citations for causing a fire using mechanized equipment.

Agency spokesman John Buchanan didn't know the penalty for conviction.

The Bakersfield Californian located a woman who said she was Gentle's stepmother, but she had no comment.

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Information from: The Bakersfield Californian, http://www.bakersfield.com