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UPDATE: Powerhouse Fire claimed 16 homes

Assessment team ups the destruction left by 32,000-acre fire

Posted: June 5, 2013 9:17 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2013 8:00 p.m.

The remains of a home and car stand on Tuesday at 18152 Newview Drive in Lake Hughes. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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Sixteen homes were burned to the ground in the Powerhouse Fire, officials said Wednesday, nothing that after six days of spreading and burning more than 32,000 acres the blaze seemed at last under control.

Investigators with the fire assessment team, sifting through the ash and rubble, found 10 more homes destroyed in addition to the six they had been reporting burned since day two of the fire, said Stephanie Lavell, spokeswoman at the fire command center.

“We had the fire assessment team go in there and come out to tell us 16 homes are now listed as destroyed,” she said Wednesday.

In addition, assessors are reporting three homes damaged. Some of the nine homes previously reported as damaged were re-assessed as destroyed, Lavell said.

Communities evacuated during the blaze included Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake and Green Valley. Roads in the area were open to residents only on Wednesday.

But the battle against the mammoth blaze continued Wednesday as the Powerhouse Fire moved into the Cottonwood Campground area.

Two firefighters were airlifted from a spot near Lake Hughes Road and Cottonwood Campground Wednesday due to heat exhaustion suffered while battling the fire, said Inspector Scott Miller of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The call for medical help was received by county fire officials at 2:30 p.m., he said.

The firefighters were flown to Palmdale for medical treatment.

Since May 30, the Powerhouse Fire has burned 32,032 acres, starting at a power house in San Francisquito Canyon and spreading both westward and eastward as it charred forests, grasslands and scrub in its march north.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, it still threatened 275 homes and businesses despite being 70 percent contained.
Officials estimate damage so far at $11.4 million.

“Crews continue to make good progress toward slowing and containing the fire,” officials reported Wednesday.
Ridge Route Road remained closed Wednesday at Lake Hughes Road. Pine Canyon Road also remained closed from Three Points to Lake Hughes Road.

Some roads are open to residents only included: 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.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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