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California

Search underway for hikers possibly missing near brush fire

Powerhouse fire
Flames burn along a ridge as the Powerhouse fire raged out of control Thursday.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)

A helicopter was searching for hikers who may be missing in an area where a brush fire was burning out of control in the Angeles National Forest north of Castaic.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said one of its copters was flying over an area near San Francisquito Canyon and Spunky Canyon after a report that as many as nine hikers may have been missing.

One hiker was spotted Thursday evening about 3 miles west of the Green Valley ranger station but was not in distress or danger, a county Fire Department spokesman said.

A search-and-rescue team from the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station was also in the area and ready to assist, a Sheriff’s Department official said.

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The search came as the fast-moving Powerhouse fire had grown to 1,000 acres after breaking out shortly before 4 p.m. along San Francisquito Canyon. 

The blaze, which was stoked by wind gusts of 24 mph, prompted mandatory evacuations in the Green Valley area between San Francisquito Canyon Road and the Bouquet Reservoir, officials said.

Flames also burned close to high-voltage power lines, some of which provide electricity to Los Angeles, utility officials said. No power outages had been reported.

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

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At least one structure owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was consumed by the flames.

Water-dropping helicopters made repeated attacks on the fire, and air tankers dropped orange retardant as thick clouds of smoke billowed above the rugged terrain where flames raced across dry chaparral and brush, fire officials said.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

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robert.lopez@latimes.com


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