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

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.


Information from: The Bakersfield Californian,