UPDATED AT 2:10 a.m. MONDAY
Firefighters continue to control the 25,000-acre Powerhouse Fire as they fight winds more than 20 miles per hour and gusts of more than 40 to 50 miles per hour.
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The fire has jumped the California Aqueduct and is heading north toward a poppy reserve, said Tom Contreras, Los Angeles County forest supervisor.
Los Angeles County sheriff and fire departments said the fire is still only 20 percent contained and will have an estimate of how much the fire has grown by Sunday night.
“(The fire) is moving so fast and the smoke is hugging the ground,” Contreras said. “It’s hard to make a map.”
More than 2,000 firefighters are out trying to contain the fire and about 1,000 homes have been threatened.
Fifteen houses were damaged and six have been destroyed in the fire, said Fire Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The community of Green Valley, consisting of about 1,000 people and 250 homes, has not been evacuated, but fire personnel are prepared to do so if the fire moves closer.
Sheriff’s have set up a trigger point on Green Mountain for the fire, said Lt. David Coleman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Several roads, such as Elizabeth Lake Road and San Francisquito Canyon Road, have been closed, but residents near Spunky Canyon Road and Oak Canyon Road are allowed access to their neighborhood.
Coleman said there are more than 100 sheriff’s deputies assisting in evacuations and security. The Red Cross has a shelter open at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale with a capacity for 200 people and Coleman said another shelter will open up if Green Valley is evacuated.
About 45 fire engines have been involved in getting resources to firefighters, according to Deputy Chief David Richardson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. A damage assessment team is on site trying to figure out the costs of destroyed and damaged structures.
The Powerhouse Fire is currently holding. All below evacuations have been completed and no new road closures or evacuations other than those listed below are scheduled at this time.
The fire jumped the aqueduct into the West of Lancaster area due to 20-25 mph winds with 40-50 mph gusts.
The rapid and unpredictable fire has made evacuations difficult.
Evacuations of Antelope Acres from Lancaster Road to Avenue D and 170th to 190th have been completed. Winds are expected to decrease and humidity to increase within the next 48 hours.
Evacuation order is in place for large portions of fire area. Power lines and the communities of Green Valley, Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake are threatened.
The critical watershed and threatened and endangered species continued to be impacted. Hikers on the PCT are being rerouted to the desert.
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Richardson said there should be a decrease the strength of the winds and a boost in humidity could help control the fire. Officials said the control of the fire is dependant on the weather.
Fire personnel will continue to work through the night with helicopters dropping water and fire retardant to contain the fire.
“This summer, we’re going to have a very volatile fire season,” Osby said.
Here’s a map of the Powerhouse Fire created by the U.S. Forest Service and L.A, County Fire.
Source: Santa Clarita News