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More than 900 firefighters continue to battle Powerhouse fire

FiresNational Weather ServiceHepatitis

More than 900 firefighters on Saturday continued to battle the 3,600 acre Powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest and Santa Clarita area on what officials said was the hottest day of the week.

The wildfire is only 15% contained, and firefighters are working with hot, dry conditions that could hamper their efforts, said Nathan Judy of the U.S. Forest Service.  

“Today’s the hottest day of the week, we’ll have more favorable weather coming in tomorrow,” said Judy, adding that officials will have a better idea about when they’ll reach full containment once they get through Saturday.

PHOTOS: Powerhouse fire

Temperatures in the fire zone were topping 100 degrees, with relative humidity down in the single digits. “It’s going to be very hot and dry with not a whole lot of wind,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sukup in Oxnard.

Beginning Monday, conditions should start to improve, Sukup said. “Relative humidity should be increasing as the marine layer returns tomorrow,” he said. Sunday’s highs in the fire zone are forecast to be in the upper 80s and low 90s, with about 20% to 30% relative humidity.

The flames are chewing through dried-out brush and chaparral in the steep, rugged terrain not far from Castaic Lake. So far, one structure has burned and two minor injuries to crew members have been reported, officials said. Both injured firefighters were back on the fire line Saturday, Judy said.

Assisting the army of firefighters, 10 fixed-wing aircraft and eight air tankers were battling the blaze, which broke out shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday near a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power station in San Francisquito Canyon near Drinkwater Reservoir, officials said.

New road closures were ordered Saturday in Castaic at Lake Hughes Road, which will be used to transport heavy equipment throughout the day, Palmdale sheriff’s officials said.

An evacuation center has been set up at Marie Kerr Park, 39700 30 St. in Palmdale. Large animals may be taken to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds at 5210 W. Avenue I in Lancaster. Small animals can be taken to the Lancaster Animal Shelter at 5210 W. Avenue I in Lancaster or the Castaic Animal Shelter at 31044, Charlie Canyon Road in Castaic.

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