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Firefighters begin mop-up with Powerhouse fire 90% contained

June 08, 2013|By Christine Mai-Duc

Firefighters are beginning the long process of mopping up now that the massive Powerhouse fire is nearing full containment, officials said Saturday.

The fire, which erupted May 30 and has burned 30,274 acres, is now 90% contained, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Ron Ashdale, and officials expect full containment Monday. The fire destroyed 30 homes and damaged three others; 28 outbuildings were also destroyed.

“There’s still a lot of other work to be done,” said Ashdale, who added fire crews will be on site for at least another week clearing brush, cleaning up roads and cutting down partially burned trees.

Record-high temperatures and low humidity have continued to dog the firefighters, who worked in 106-degree temperatures Friday afternoon, according to sheriff's officials.

A new fire broke in the northwest corner of the burn area Friday, but it was contained to one acre, and crews were able to hold the fire lines despite an afternoon shift in the winds.

All evacuations have been lifted in the fire zone, but two roads remain under a hard closure. Officials expect Dry Gulch Road at Lake Hughes Road and Spunky Canyon Road at Bouquet Canyon to be closed at least through Sunday.


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