Editor's note: The helicopter that killed 4 after it crashed in Kern County, Calif., was a SkyLife air ambulance heading from Porterville Municipal Airport to San Joaquin Community Hospital. American Ambulance General Manager Todd Valeri said aboard were a pilot, nurse, paramedic and a patient, . We will bring you more details on this story as it develops. - Ariana
Bakersfield is a U.S. city in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where it sits on the southern end of the Central Valley within the Kern County boundaries. The city is 110 mi (180 km) north of Los Angeles and about the same distance south of Fresno. It is an inland city about 135 mi (217 km) east of Pismo Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Bakersfield’s population is around 375,000, making it the 9th largest city in California and the 52nd largest city in the United States. The city is also the county seat for Kern County, which encompasses the entire MSA and is the third largest county in California by area. The total Bakersfield inner urban area, which includes East Bakersfield and Rosedale, has a population of about 464,000.
Bakersfield is in Kern County which is generally considered part of Southern California and shares its southern border with Los Angeles County. However, many residents consider Bakersfield to be more a part of Central California as it is near Kings and Tulare counties and is a hub for agriculture and oil production.
Bakersfield is the focal point of the larger Bakersfield-Delano, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is coextensive with Kern County. In 2010, it had a population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in United States.
Bakersfield has a very diverse economy. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate/regional headquarters.