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1,500-Acre Powerhouse Fire Now 15 Percent Contained

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CASTAIC (CBSLA.com) — The Powerhouse Fire burning in San Francisquito Canyon in the Angeles National Forest grew to 1,500 acres Friday and was 15 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Residents had been evacuated Thursday evening after the fire came extremely close to a number of homes, but the first order was lifted around 10 p.m.

New evacuation orders were made Friday afternoon. Evacuations were ordered in areas north of South Portal Road  and west of San Francisquito Canyon Road. Camp Mendenhall
Probation Camp is also being evacuated, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The blaze, which blackened around 1,400 acres before combining with a large spot fire Friday morning, was reported by a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday near San Francisquito Canyon and Powerhouse roads, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

More than 550 firefighters, along with water-dropping helicopters and air tankers, were fighting the brush fire, which was being fueled by heavy brush and chaparral in steep terrain. Full containment of the blaze isn’t expected until Wednesday, June 5.

Officials say the area has not burned for more than 30 years, and thus far, only one utility structure has been destroyed.

A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale (39700 30th Street West).

PHOTO GALLERY: Powerhouse Fire

Small animals were being taken to the L.A. County Department of Animal Care & Control, 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.

San Francisquito Road was closed from Elizabeth Lake to Copper Hill roads and Bouquet Canyon and Elizabeth Lake roads were open to residents only.

One firefighter was injured in the blaze when a rock fell on his leg.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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