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Powerhouse fire's toll of homes destroyed rises sharply to 24

June 06, 2013|By Jean Merl

The tally of homes reported destroyed in the Powerhouse fire rose dramatically Thursday, as authorities discovered 24 homes were burned out, more than double the previous estimate.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Anthony Akins attributed the rise in damage to a survey by ground crews, who were able to explore the burn area more fully on Wednesday. Akins said he believes some of the additional destroyed homes are believed to be in a canyon near Lake Hughes. 

Fire personnel have the fire 78% surrounded and expect full containment around midnight Monday.

The fire, which began May 30 near a power station in the Angeles National Forest, has consumed 30,274 acres, Askins said. Akins said the acreage burned was revised downward, from 32,000 acres estimated via helicopter, once ground crews were able to get a more accurate survey of the damage.

In all, 24 homes were destroyed in Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake and nearby communities, and three others were damaged; an additional 29 structures were lost and one damaged, Akins said. 

Firefighters managed to save hundreds of homes when the fire swept through the communities overnight Saturday, forcing evacuations.  Most of those evacuated have been allowed to return home, Akins said Monday.

Nearly 2,000 personnel continue to battle the stubborn fire, which is burning now in mainly in rugged, unpopulated  terrain.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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Twitter: @jeanmerl

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