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UPDATE: Powerhouse Fire heading into 'super dry' area

Posted: June 4, 2013 9:15 a.m.
Updated: June 4, 2013 3:01 p.m.

The Powerhouse Fire is heading northwest of Green Valley into a “super dry” mountainous area that hasn’t burned since 1929, a U.S. Forest Service official said today.

With more than 2,150 firefighters struggling to keep the six-day-old blaze at 32,000 burned acres, and reporting a 60 percent containment, fire officials fear the fire could surge as it enters a zone where chaparral “fuel” hasn’t burned in 84 years.

“We’re seeing the fire now moving to the northwest,” Nathan Judy, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, said this afternoon.

“We’re looking more at the Sawtooth Mountain area,” he said. “That’s the direction we’re going.”

The Powerhouse Fire has cost close to $7.9 million. Its cause remains under investigation.

Overnight Monday, the fire moved along Elizabeth Canyon and Lake Hughes Road northwest toward Sawmill Mountain.

Tuesday morning, fire crews with air support began a direct attack on the fire in the area of Hughes Mountain, Abrams Canyon and Deer Canyon.

Fire officials said they plan to build “direct attack firefighting lines” and look for opportunities to strengthen existing lines.

They identified the Sawtooth Mountain area Sunday as containing brush that has not burned since 1929.

“This area is super dry,” Judy said.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, fire officials said the Powerhouse Fire was 60 percent contained with 32,008 acres burned and with a predicted full containment target date still set at June 10.

Six homes were burned to the ground, nine were damaged and 275 structures remain threatened.

The unified fire assault involves cooperative work between the U.S. Forest Service, Los Angeles County Fire Department and Cal Fire, involves 50 fire crews, 29 fire engines, 11 helicopters, eight air tankers, 32 bulldozers and 28 water tenders.

The evacuation center is the Red Cross shelter at Marie Kerr Park on 30th Street in Palmdale.

Lancaster and Antelope Valley fairgrounds are being used to shelter animals.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt









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