Update: Missing hikers are clear of 'Powerhouse Fire'

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Update 9:12 p.m.: Hikers walked out on their own

Hikers feared missing in the area of the Powerhouse Fire were spotted walking out on their own and apparently in good condition, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

"In about the last half hour several hikers have been spotted and they are clear of that evacuation area," said Sgt. Brian Dorsey of the Palmdale station. "As of right now we don't have any further information as to additional hikers that are outstanding. The last set of hikers that came through actually stated that they believed they were the last ones on the trail."

Update 8:28 p.m.: zero percent containment, reports of hikers missing

As the sun went down over the Angeles National Forest, the Powerhouse Fire was 0 percent contained and over 1,000 acres. There were unconfirmed reports of hikers missing in the area, according to L.A. County sheriffs deputies.

Some 300 firefighters from Los Angeles National Forest and L.A. County had been deployed to help combat the fire, which had consumed more than 1,000 acres since it was first observed at 3:28 p.m.,  Angeles National Forest spokesman John Wagner said. 

"It's grown rapidly moving in a northwesterly direction," Wagner told KPCC. "It's now 1000-plus acres is the latest of what we've received as far as an estimate of the size, burning brush and grass."

One DWP structure had been burned. Mandatory evacuations were in place for the Green Valley area, Wagner said. 

Update 7:10 p.m.: Evacuation centers and road closures

Evacuation Centers (pets only)

  • Pets Castaic shelter: 
    31044 N Charlie Canyon, Castaic 
  • Lancaster shelter:
    5210 W Ave, Lancaster, CA
  • Antelope Valley Fairgrounds (for large animals):
    2551 W Avenue H Lancaster, CA 93536

Road Closures

  • San Francisquito Canyon Road from Elizabeth Lake Road to Copper Hill Drive

Update 6:56 p.m.: 1,000 acres burned

L.A. County fire officials upgraded the Powerhouse Fire to 1,000 acres and said via Twitter that strike teams were on their way.

Both Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said the fire was threatening their facilities and they were monitoring the blaze for potential outages, though none had been reported. Power was being rerouted away from the threatened lines.

The blaze broke out at about 3:30 p.m. just north of Powerhouse No. 1, a hydroelectric plant near the L.A. aqueduct that was the first to bring municipal power to the city and has been operating for nearly a century.

Los Angeles Times reporter tweeted the following picture of smoke billowing over the freeway:

Update 6:00 p.m.: More than 600 acres now burned

L.A. County Fire officials are reporting via Twitter that the fire has burned more than 600 acres.

NBC LA is monitoring the situation from the air and notes that animals are being evacuated as well.

Update 5:50 p.m.: Fire threatens power plant; homes being evacuated (400 acres burned)

Officials say a fast-growing wildfire north of Los Angeles has consumed 400 acres and is burning near power station transmission lines and homes are being evacuated.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire started Thursday afternoon in the Angeles National Forest and quickly surged to 400 acres, sending out big clouds of black smoke amid temperatures in the high 80s and winds gusting at more than 20 mph.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is helping residents evacuate in the community of Green Valley. It was not immediately clear how many homes are threatened, but about 1,000 people live in the area.

Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power say the fire is near their facilities and they are monitoring the blaze for potential outages.

Update 5:24 p.m.: "Powerhouse Fire" has burned about 150 acres

Firefighters in Santa Clarita are battling a fast moving fire in the Angeles National Forest. The so-called Powerhouse Fire has burned about 150 acres above San Francisquito Canyon and is threatening some structures. 

"[The fire] is running northwest. And we currently have about 100 firefighters on scene. It's steep terrain. It's brush and chaparral and there are power lines in the vicinity," said Sherry Rollman, a spokeswoman for the Angeles National Forest.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Update 5:14 p.m.:  Fire has burned 20 acres, threatens structures

A brush fire in the Santa Clarita area has burned about 20 acres. An Angeles National Forest spokeswoman says some structures are threatened. 

The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. and is burning uphill in steep, mostly brush-covered terrain. At least 100 personnel from the U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire Department are on scene, NBC LA reports.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

Update 4:52 p.m: U.S. Forest Service officials reported a fast-growing brush fire burning in Angeles National Forest Thursday afternoon, according to NBC LA.

The fire broke out near San Francisquito Canyon and Powerhouse roads. It was not immediately known when it started or how many acres it had consumed.

Check back for updates.


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With contributions by Brian Frank

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