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SCVNews.com | Day 5: Fire Now 32,000 Acres, 60% Contained | 06-03-2013
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Fire fighters battle through the night | Photo: L.A. County Fire Dept.

Fire fighters battle through the night | Photo: L.A. County Fire Dept.

SEE MANY MORE PHOTOS on our Facebook page

 

CLICK TO WATCH Monday afternoon’s press conference.

 

GO TO SCVNews.com HOME PAGE FOR NEWER STORY

 

Update from L.A. County Sheriff, Monday 8 p.m.:

Evacuations:

Antelope Acres from Lancaster Road to Hwy 138 (Avenue D), between 170th and 190th Street, closed due to fire equipment.

The following areas are open to residents only:

The Lake Hughes Community is closed to non-residents and in process of being re-populated.
The Lake Elizabeth community is closed to non-residents and in process of being re-populated.
Residential area at the intersection of Munz Ranch Road and the California Aqua duct is closed to non-residents and in process of being re-populated.
Areas north of South Portal and west of San Francisquito Canyon Road are closed to non-residents and in process of being re-populated .

 

Update from L.A. County Fire Dept., Monday 6:45 p.m.:

The Powerhouse fire has scorched 32,008 acres and is 60 percent contained at this hour.

“Fire spread has moderated and is expected to through the night,” a Fire Department statement said.

 

Road Closures as of Monday 9PM (L.A. County Public Works):

roadclosures060313_9pm

 

 

Outage map, Monday 6:30 p.m. | Click to enlarge

Outage map, Monday 6:30 p.m. | Click to enlarge

Southern California Edison outages, Monday 6:30 p.m.:

 

Antelope Acres

65 customers impacted

Power poles and lines down

Restoration expected by Tuesday afternoon

 

Pine Canyon Road

102 customers impacted

Equipment damage

Restoration expected by Tuesday afternoon

 

Lake Hughes

8 customers impacted

Lines down

Resoration expected by Wednesday morning

 

Notes from Monday 4 p.m. Press Conference in Palmdale (SCVTV’s Austin Dave reporting):

The Antelope Acres community in the Antelope Valley remains under mandatory evacuation said Lt. Dave Coleman of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, and Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth could be re-evacuated at any time to facilitate equipment and personnel movements.

A U.S. Forest Service official said there is no word yet on the cause of the fire, which has damaged 15 structures, of which five or six have been destroyed. Another 1,200 to 1,500 have been saved, the official said.

The USFS official said there is no word yet on the cause of the fire.

The fire expanded to nearly 30,000 overnight, with 40 percent containment.

Winds are still strong in the fire area, but increased humidity has aided firefighters, an official said.

“Things are looking much better than yesterday,” the incident commander said, noting that the fire jumped a dozer line in one location Monday but it was contained at five acres.

The use of fixed-wing aircraft at night is unprecedented, said a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.

A total of 140 people used the Red Cross shelter at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale overnight, and they have ample food and supplies, said Red Cross spokesman Jeff Baumgartner.

Los Angeles County Public Health officials said returning evacuees should boil their water if they feel their water system has been compromised.

Private well owners should boil water because the fire may have damaged water storage tanks or well casings, and power outages bring low pressure, creating conditions ripe for bacteria to grow.

Power was shut off to the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth communities Saturday when the fire knocked down power lines.

Officials advise returning residents to assume all downed power lines are live.

 

Update from Unified Command, Monday 8 p.m.:

POWERHOUSE FIRE
Incident Update

Monday, June 3, 2013 8:00 p.m.

Fire Information Line: (661) 272-3865
Fax Line: (661) 272-3750

Location: Angeles National Forest, Hughes Lake, Elizabeth Lake, and Green Valley

County: Los Angeles County

Start Date & Report Time: May 31, 2013 3:28 a.m.

Cause: Under Investigation

Acres: 32,008

Structures Threatened: 275

Fire Engines: 29

Containment: 60%

Residence Destroyed: 6

Fire Crews: 50

Expected Containment: June 10, 2013

Residence Damaged: 9

Helicopters: 11

Total Personnel: 2,154

Injuries: 3

Bulldozers: 32

Air Tankers: 8

Water Tenders: 28

Estimated Cost: $7,897,391

Current Situation: Fire spread has moderated and is expected to remain moderate through the night. The majority of active fire is along Elizabeth Canyon and Hughes Lake Road northwest to Sawtooth Mountain continuing over Shake Canyon. Fire north of Elizabeth Lake Canyon will burn up slope towards Sawmill Mountain. Fire is currently threatening 275 structures.

Crews will build direct attack firefighting lines and look for opportunities to strengthen existing lines. On Tuesday, which is the next operational period, crews will begin to go direct on the fire in the area of Hughes Mountain, Abrams Canyon and Deer Canyon; air resources will support these crews.

Evacuation: Many areas have been reopened to residents. No additional evacuations are expected.

Evacuation Center: The Red Cross Shelter is at Marie Kerr Park (Palmdale).
Lancaster and Antelope Valley fairgrounds are being used to shelter animals.

 

L.A. Co. Fire Dept., Monday 3:30 p.m.:

LAC Public Health is advising all residents affected by the fire to boil their drinking water.

 

U.S. Forest Service, Monday 3:30 p.m.:

Crews made major progress on the fire north of the aqueduct and were able to build direct line and use roads to contain this portion of the fire.

Evacuation order is in place for large portions of fire area. Power lines and the communities of Green Valley, Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake. Critical watershed and threatened & endangered species continued to be impacted. Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail are being rerouted to the desert.

 

Animal Control, Monday 2 p.m.:

The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) is currently assisting with animal evacuations due to the Powerhouse fire. DACC is utilizing staff from the six County animal care centers as well as the Department’s Volunteer Equine Response Team to assist pet owners with evacuating animals.

DACC urges residents to not let their animals run loose.  Loose animals pose a safety hazard to first responders and can be dangerous for the animals involved as well. If possible, it is best to put your animals in a pasture area or leave them confined.

Animal evacuation locations are as follows:

* Small animals: Castaic Animal Care Center: 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road, Castaic, CA 91384

* Large animals (such as livestock): Antelope Valley fairgrounds: 2551 W Avenue H Lancaster, CA 93536

 

Road Closures as of Monday 12:45 p.m. (CHP):

LANCASTER RD @ MUNZ RANCH RD, SOFT CLOSURE RESIDENTS ONLY

110TH ST W @ AVENUE K,SOFT CLOSURE RESIDENTS ONLY

SAN FRANCISQUITO CYN @ DRY GULCH,SOFT CLOSURE RESIDENTS ONLY

LAKE HUGHES @ RIDGE ROUTE, HARD CLOSURE FOR NB TRFC

LAKE HUGHES @ ELIZABETH LAKE, HARD CLOSURE FOR WB and SB TRFC

PINE CYN @ 3 POINTS, HARD CLOSURE

BOUQUET CANYON @ SPUNKY CANYON NOW SOFT CLOSURE RESIDENTS ONLY

HARD CLOSURE UNTIL 1550 SAN FRANCISQUITO @ ELIZABETH LAKE, AT 1500 WILL BE RESIDENTS ONLY

 

National Weather Service, Monday:

WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM PDT THIS EVENING...

* WINDS...SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 MPH. ISOLATED
  GUSTS TO 55 MPH ARE LIKELY AROUND LAKE PALMDALE AND ADJACENT
  FOOTHILLS INCLUDING THE AREA NEAR THE POWERHOUSE FIRE.

* TIMING...WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE THIS MORNING WITH
  STRONGEST SUSTAINED WINDS AND GUSTS EXPECTED TO OCCUR THIS
  AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS...MOTORISTS...ESPECIALLY OPERATORS OF HIGH PROFILE
  VEHICLES...ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING ACROSS
  HIGHWAY 14 FROM THE SOLEDAD PASS INTO THE ANTELOPE VALLEY AND
  HIGHWAY 138. THERE WILL BE AREAS OF SMOKE FROM THE POWERHOUSE
  FIRE AS WELL AS THE POTENTIAL FOR REDUCED VISIBILITY IN SOME
  AREAS DUE TO BLOWING DUST AND SAND. BE PREPARED FOR SUDDEN
  GUSTY CROSS WINDS WHICH CAN CAUSE VEHICLE LOSS OF CONTROL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 45 MPH OR GREATER ARE
EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...
ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

 

Monday on the fire line | Photo: L.A. County Fire Dept.

Monday on the fire line | Photo: L.A. County Fire Dept.

UPDATE Monday 8 a.m., Unified Command:

The Powerhouse Fire now is in its 5th day and is continuing to burn at a moderate rate, slower than the past 4 days. Most recent mapping indicates that it is 29,584 acres. Fire crews continued to work through the night and many firefighters have been up actively engaged in fire fighting for several days.

Late yesterday, The Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison Company began an assessment on the large power lines and transformers running through the fire region. The lines serve residents through the entire West Coast into Washington State. A redistribution of power grids and lines must be done if the fire impacts the lines. Specialists are available to achieve this so that residents are not without power and to keep the lines from endangering firefighters.

If the fire continues to move on its current path it has potential to move into an area that houses a solar farm. Every attempt is being made to keep the fire from moving into this area. Successful firefighting operations now put the fire at 40% contained. Eleven helicopters will be actively working today along with eight air tankers to keep the fire in check. Spot fires have occurred over the entire duration of the incident and are expected today due to some wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Law enforcement officers worked yesterday with residents to get them safely evacuated from the area. Fire officials are now developing a re-entry plan for evacuated residents. Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale has been set up as a shelter and housed 150 people over night. Volunteers, Red Cross, and area residents did a significant job in providing support and getting the impacted community the services they needed. Lancaster and Antelope Valley Fairgrounds were used to house animals such as horses, donkeys, goats, and exotic birds.

There are currently 2185 firefighters engaged in fire protection, mop up, overhaul, or structure protection. Commuters are asked to drive safely on their Monday morning commute and keep an eye out for fire crews. Six homes have been destroyed but firefighters have been actively working to keep the fire from damaging more structures.

Much of the perimeter of the fire is knocked down and considered “cold” in many areas although firefighters will be working on mop up. The fire has stopped moving north of the Aqueduct and is not expected to progress any further. The fire burning in Bieich Canyon is expected to continue to spread west. Fire north of Elizabeth Lake Canyon will burn up slope towards Sawmill Mountain and Sawtooth Mountain. Fire west of Lake Hughes Road will burn towards Warm Springs Road. Currently, 300 homes are threatened in the communities of Hughes Lake, Elizabeth Lakes, and Green Valley.

 

Earlier Monday:

The Powerhouse Fire spread to 29,584 acres overnight and 130 sheriff deputies enforced new evacuation orders as the wildfire encroached on the Antelope Acres community in Lancaster on the north and Green Valley on the southeast.

The fire, which started Thursday afternoon on a hillside above the LADWP’s Power House 1 in San Francisquito Canyon, 11.5 miles north of Copper Hill Road in Santa Clarita, was 40-percent contained as of Monday morning.

More than 2,000 fire fighters from multiple agencies are battling the fire, which has consumed six homes, mostly on the south side of Newview Road in Lake Hughes.

According to CAL FIRE, three firefighters had sustained minor injuries as of Sunday.

Thursday's presumed flash point: A hillside (right) above Power House 1 (roof visible at left) - as seen Sunday. (SCVNews.com)

Thursday’s presumed flash point: A hillside (right) above Power House 1 (roof visible at left) – as seen Sunday. (SCVTV/SCVNews.com)

The historic Rock Inn in Lake Hughes was still standing as of Sunday afternoon, as was the Community Center and HELUS (Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District) school. In fact, as of Sunday afternoon, no structure on either side of Elizabeth Lake Road had burned down – although flames were threatening the north side of the road during late afternoon hours.

Flames taunted The Painted Turtle, and while the grounds are a disaster zone, the buildings survived. Personnel from the camp for kids with medical ailments said a barn was lost.

Large animals were evacuated to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds – although some horses were running loose as the flames spread. Small animals joined their owners at a Red Cross shelter at Marie Kerr Park Recreation Center in Palmdale. A second Red Cross shelter was set up at Palmdale High School.

Site of a home that burned down Saturday night on Newview Road in Lake Hughes.

Site of a home that burned down Saturday night on Newview Road in Lake Hughes. (SCVTV/SCVNews.com)

The National Weather Service reported Sunday morning that a high, thin layer of smoke from the Powerhouse Fire was moving across the Las Vegas Valley.

The fire spread fast.

“(The) fire was able to come into alignment with slope, winds, low relative humidity  and critically dry fuels, making extreme head runs on all open divisions with long-range spotting and very active backing and flanking fire,” the U.S. Forest Service reported. The fire “spotted and became well developed north of Lake Hughes Road.”

 

L.A. Co. Fire Dept. perimeter map, Monday 11 a.m.

L.A. Co. Fire Dept. perimeter map, Monday 11 a.m. (Click to enlarge)

 

Comment On This Story
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1 Comment

  1. Melody Reid says:

    The Castaic Animal Shelter (and probably the others) is accepting unopened dog food and blankets for dogs staying there due to the fire. Their site is http://www.animalcare.lacounty.gov
    At this moment, no cats are there due to the fire but any donation are always accepted they said.

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