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Wind-driven fire burns homes near Fillmore; 18,000 without power

April 08, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez

Fierce winds downed electrical lines and sparked a brush fire near Fillmore that was burning several structures as fire crews scrambled to stop the blaze.

The powerful winds left about 18,000 people without power across Southern California on Monday, officials said.

Firefighters near Fillmore were calling in additional units and helicopters to help battle the blaze that was being fanned by winds up to 30 mph, officials said.

"We're trying to get ahead of this fire," Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Mike Lindbery told The Times. 

He said that at least one home was burning. News footage showed what appeared to be a second home in flames, as well as some outbuildings.

 Crews battled to protect additional homes from being overrun by the flames as the heavy winds spread burning embers and thick clouds of smoke across the area.

The fire initially broke out at a mobile home in the 1400 block of Goodenough Road and then spread to nearby brush.

The main front of the blaze was burning above Filmore. "Our focus right now is life and property," Lindbery said.

About 5,000 people were without power in nine cities served by Southern California Edison, the utility said on its Twitter account. The cities included Lancaster, Norwalk, Rosemead, San Gabriel and Pomona.

In Los Angeles, about 13,000 people were without power in areas including Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire and the San Fernando Valley, according to the Department of Water and Power.

More than 30 crews were in the field working to restore power. "We're calling in more bodies," DWP spokeswoman Kim Hughes said.

She urged residents who see downed power lines to call 911 and stay clear to avoid being electrocuted.


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