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Shifting Winds Cause Powerhouse Fire To Double Overnight, Threatening 1,000 Homes
Shifting winds, warm temperatures and steep, rugged terrain fueled the Powerhouse Fire. The fire that broke out on Thursday doubled in size, so that it's now blazing across 19,500 acres of the Angeles National Forest.
So far the fire has destroyed at least six homes, and as of this morning, residents of 1,000 homes in Lake Elizabeth and the Green Valley were told to evacuate, according to the Los Angeles Times. Here's a photo of one home destroyed in the blaze:
Last night 1,000 firefighters were called in overnight to fight the fire with 93 engines, 8 helicopters, 8 air tankers and 12 water tenders, The Daily News reported. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries as a result of fighting the fire.
Yesterday triple-digit temperatures and erratic winds helped fuel the fire, but firefighters were optimistic that cooler temperatures and dwindling winds would help them contain the fire. Ronald Ashdale, spokesman for the U.S Forest Service, told The Daily News "The fire basically doubled from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 this morning. I'm not sure the clouds will hold, but this morning looks favorable."
Firefighters told City News Service that they were able to halt the fire's spread at the California Aqueduct near Myrick canyon, which spared dozens of homes near Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth. Helicopters used water from the nearby lakes to tackle the hotspots. Wildfire Today has a map tracking the creeping Northeastern edge of the fire (which has probably changed as of this writing):
Signs went up thanking firefighters for their efforts:
The fire started near around 4 pm on Thursday near a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power station in San Francisquito Canyon, but officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The fire created a massive plume:
Originally, firefighters hoped to have contained the fire by Wednesday, but they adjusted their estimate and said it could take a day or two longer than they expected—depending on the weather and winds, of course.
For reference, the Station Fire, the last really huge fire in the Angeles National Forest, burned 160,577 acres.