New evacuations ordered in fire north of LA

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The Powerhouse Fire, San Francisquito Canyon. (AP Photo)

The Powerhouse Fire, San Francisquito Canyon. (AP Photo)

SANTA CLARITA (CNS) – Air crews planned to take to the air this morning and resume their attacks on a brush fire that has blackened 1,000 acres in sparsely populated San Francisquito Canyon northeast of Santa Clarita.
Evacuation orders affecting as many 300 homes in the community of Green Valley near Palmdale were lifted late Thursday night as the uncontained “Powerhouse Fire” burned through steep, rugged terrain, but away from homes and amid diminishing winds. About 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, according to the Forest Service.

The fire was reported along San Francisquito Canyon Road at 3:28 p.m. Thursday, near a hydroelectric plant located close to the L.A. Aqueduct and known as Powerhouse No. 1. By late Thursday night, it had scorched at least 1,000 acres of mostly chaparral-covered terrain in the Angeles National Forest, the Forest Service  reported, with no estimates issued on when any measure of containment might occur.

One structure, reported to be a utility building, was destroyed in the blaze, said Sonia Valdivia of the Forest Service.       No injuries were reported.

The fire was burning in a northwesterly direction, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported Thursday night. Power lines were reported threatened at one point Thursday, but there were no reports of service disruptions.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for 200-300 homes in the Green Valley area early Thursday night, but they were lifted at 10 p.m., said Lt. Steve Sylvies of the sheriff’s Palmdale Station.

A half-dozen air tankers were used to fight the blaze Thursday, but those operations ended at nightfall and were set to resume at dawn Friday, the Forest Service’s Nathan Judy told KNX 1070.

Winds of 16 mph were fanning the fire and temperatures were in the mid- 80s Thursday evening, according to the Forest Service. The National Weather Service was forecasting temperatures into the 90s today, with wind gusts of up to 20 mph.

No information on how the fire started was immediately available.

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