Update Thursday 8 a.m., U.S. Forest Service:
30,274 acres, 78 percent containment. Ridge Route still closed at Lake Hughes Road; Pine Canyon Road still closed from Three Points to Lake Hughes. Other roads open to residents with ID.
Update Wednesday 8 p.m.:
Fire activity has diminished, but CAL FIRE has increased its estimate of losses to24 homes and 29 outbuildings (versus six homes). It has been reported in the media that some homes previously considered “damaged” were determined in fact to be destroyed.
As of this hour the fire has blackened 32,032 acres – it’s been flaring up within the perimeter, which hasn’t grown – and CAL FIRE reports 70 percent containment.
Motorists are asked to watch out for crews working in the area.
Cooperating agencies include: CAL FIRE, USFS/Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles Co. Fire, LA Co. Sheriff’s Dept. CHP, LA Co. Dept. of Public Works, LA Co. Dept. of Public Health, Red Cross, Caltrans, Southern California Edison, LA City Dept. of Water and Power.
Update Wednesday 2:45 p.m.:
Ambulances have been called out for two injured firefighters near Lake Hughes Road and Maxwell Mountain Lane (Sawtooth Mountain area), where the fire has been flaring up. They are suffering from heat exposure.
At least three other firefighters on the Powerhouse Fire sustained minor injuries Saturday night.
CAL FIRE Update, Wednesday 8:30 a.m.:
16 residences and 24 outbuildings have been destroyed; 3 residences and 1 outbuilding damaged.
Original Wednesday Story:
Firefighters have gotten a good handle on the Powerhouse Fire, which has destroyed six homes and 10 other structures and scorched 32,032 acres in San Francisquito Canyon, the Hughes and Elizabeth Lake communities, and south Lancaster.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire is 65 percent contained. Crews spent Tuesday patrolling the fire’s perimeter and handling flare-ups as the fire went back to consume brush it had missed near its point of origin in San Francisquito Canyon and on Sawtooth Mountain west of Lake Hughes.
“Future fire growth is expected to be minimal,” Forest Service officials said.
“The fire continued to back down towards indirect lines around the perimeter. There were occasional flare-ups well inside the containment lines. The fire continues to burn previously unburned fuels around the perimeter of a large interior island. The heavy fuels in the Elizabeth Lake Canyon area held significant heat but did not threaten the fire line.”
Excess fire resources are being released so they can handle other fires. The cost of the fire is estimated at $11.4 million and growing.
Today, “crews will continue to patrol and mop-up 200 feet in from the perimeter,” the Forest Service said. “They will also improve and construct (the fire) line as conditions allow. The structure groups will continue to patrol and mop-up around structures. The Damage Assessment Team will continue to look for lost or damaged structures.”
Residents who had been shut out of the Antelope Acres community in Lancaster were allowed back into the area Tuesday. Several roads are open to residents only: Spunky Canyon Road at Bouquet Canyon, Munz Ranch Road at Lancaster Road, San Francisquito Canyon Road at Dry Gulch Motorway, 110th Street West Avenue at Avenue K, Elizabeth Canyon Road at 90th Street West, 205th Street West at Lancaster Road.
Also, the Ridge Route remains closed at Lake Hughes Road, and Pine Canyon Road remains closed from Three Points to Lake Hughes Road.
The fire has taken out numerous power poles and lines. According to Southern California Edison, outages are affecting 36 electrical hook-ups on Sawtooth Mountain west of Lake Hughes Road, four on Newview Road where homes burned, and five at Portac Ridge Road and Ash Tree Drive near Antelope Acres.
The Forest Service expects the fire to be fully contained by Sunday night.
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