Angeles National Forest fire grows, new evacuations ordered

Evacuations have been ordered for homes on a one-mile stretch of San Francisquito Canyon Road as a wildfire fanned by strong winds pushed through the Angeles National Forest.

The evacuation was ordered at 5 a.m. Friday for the few homes that run along the road, which worms deep into the forest north of Castaic.

Some 500 firefighters battled the Powerhouse fire, which has burned through more than 1,000 acres. The fire 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.

PHOTOS: Powerhouse fire


Air operations had been suspended Thursday night but eight fixed-wing aircraft were expected to resume fire-retardant bombing runs Friday morning.

The weather forecast shows a difficult day ahead for firefighters as the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for valleys and mountains from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles because of heat and wind.

“Heat is going to be our big enemy,” Los Angeles County Fire Department inspector Anthony Akins told The Times.

Temperatures could reach 96 degrees in Santa Clarita with wind gusts up to 45 mph, the National Weather Service predicted. Temperatures are expected to be even higher Saturday, though the wind is expected to die down.


The flames are consuming dried-out heavy brush and chaparral in the steep, rugged terrain not far from Castaic Lake.

At one point, fixed-wing bombers dropped orange fire retardant as flames burned next to electrical line towers. Some of the lines supply power to Los Angeles, utility officials said. No power outages were reported.

San Francisquito Canyon Road was closed at Copper Hill Drive to Elizabeth Lake, the California Highway Patrol said.

PHOTOS: Powerhouse fire

Crews on the ground Thursday worked to cut containment lines, but winds caused spot fires to burn outside of the perimeter, according to fire officials.

As huge clouds of smoke billowed above San Francisquito Canyon on Thursday afternoon, commanders on the ground requested additional firefighters and aircraft to battle the blaze, said Angeles National Forest spokesman Nathan Judy.

At least one structure was consumed as the fire raged across the area. 



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