Powerhouse fire grows to 30,000 acres; now 40% contained
The Powerhouse fire in Santa Clarita that has destroyed six homes and burned nearly 30,000 acres is 40% contained as of Monday morning, authorities said.
Close to 2,200 firefighters battled the wildfire east of Castaic Lake, which has also damaged nine homes.
Temperatures Monday were expected to climb into the mid-80s with wind gusts up to 45 mph in the hills and valleys south of Lake Hughes.
The fire started 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.
Officials estimate the fire will not be fully contained for another week.
Crews on Sunday night planned to focus on the northern areas of the fire zone, where the flames had spread most rapidly earlier in the day. Bulldozers and hand crews were deployed in an effort to expand containment lines.
Knowing how unpredictable the wind had been throughout the day, crews remained vigilant.
“As quickly as it died off, it can pick up again,” said Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins.
The cost of fighting the fire has already reached $2.7 million, Collins said. More than 1,000 structures remain threatened, officials said.
Collins said damage-assessment teams were in the area to see if additional structures or homes had been burned.
More than 1,000 homes in the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas were still under evacuation orders.
A Red Cross evacuation center was operating at Marie Kerr Park at 39700 30th Street West in Palmdale. For more information about evacuations, residents can call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Palmdale at (661) 272-2400.
At the base camp Sunday night, ash-covered trucks dropped off firefighters coming in for a meal and to get some rest. A plume of smoke could be seen rising from the fire.
Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Danny Novak, a 29-year-veteran, had been out at the fire since 8 p.m. Saturday night and said the winds and heat from the flames were intense.
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