SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — A fast-growing brush fire, fueled by heat and wind, has burned at least one structure, threatened several homes and damaged power lines in the Angeles National Forest Thursday, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.
The “Powerhouse Fire,” which blackened around 1,000 acres and was zero percent contained as of 11 p.m., was reported by a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee shortly before 4 p.m. near San Francisquito Canyon and Powerhouse roads, which is between Palmdale and Castaic.
“The fire was first observed by a power plant station operator burning just north of the Power Plant 1 near San Francisquito Road,” said DWP spokesman Joseph Ramallo.
Ramallo said the utility was routing power away from the transmission lines to ensure service wasn’t interrupted in the county.
Southern California Edison reported that they have not experienced any outages.
Residents in Green Valley were forced to evacuate after the blaze came extremely close to a number of homes, but the order was lifted around 10 p.m.
A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale.
San Francisquito Road was closed from Elizabeth Lake to Copper Hill roads.
Bouquet Canyon and Elizabeth Lake roads were open to residents only.
Small animals were being taken to the L.A. County Department of Animal Care & Control at 5210 West Avenue I in Lancaster and to the Castaic Animal Shelter located at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road. A center for large animals was opened at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds at 2551 W. Avenue H in Lancaster.
Around 8 p.m., fire officials and sheriff’s deputies searched for seven missing hikers near Pacific Crest Trail, who were all later found safe.
A total of 500 firefighters, along with water-dropping helicopters, were battling to contain the flames.
A half-dozen air tankers made fire retardant drops.
A passenger jet called the BAe-146 air tanker, which was retrofitted to fight fires, was also utilized.
All aerial operations were suspended at nighttime.
No injuries were immediately reported.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.