Authorities searching for a gunman linked to a kidnapping, killing and wounding of two deputies have closed a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in the southern Sierra Nevada.

Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Thursday the search remains focused on a 5-square-mile portion of sparsely populated territory east of Bakersfield that includes Sequoia National Forest.

Pruitt didn't know how much of the famed Mexico-to-Canada trail is closed.

The crimes began July 28 when three men were held hostage at gunpoint in a cabin before escaping.

Two days later, a man was found dead in a cabin about 10 miles away, and on Saturday, two SWAT team members were wounded as they searched a mobile home.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.