The U.S. Forest Service Thursday said 53 structures including 24 residences were destroyed by the Powerhouse wildfire near Palmdale in northern Los Angeles County. (Photo: A Lake Hughes home on Newview Road is one of several homes that have been destroyed by the Powerhouse Fire, which started on Thursday afternoon and has since burned thousands of acres.)
Officials now say 53 structures, including 24 residences, were destroyed by the big wildfire in northern Los Angeles County, higher than the previous estimate of 16 homes. The fire, which burned 30,274 acres, is now 78 percent contained, fire officials said. (View a map of the fire area and road closures embedded below.)
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Matt Corelli said Thursday that crews were able to revise damage estimates now that there are few open flames.
- Cause under investigation
- Total personnel 1,958
- Size 30,274 acres
- Estimated Containment June 10 at about 12 a.m.
Corelli said it's tough for ground crews to reach all the areas burned when a fire is still active. Now, with few open flames, crews were able to get a closer look at the damage.
Corelli said the fire has also brought down a lot of power lines — another reason why the total number of structures was initially much lower.
"It's imperative that we use caution around them and that we don't drive over them and don't operate near them, so some areas are inaccessible after a fire to evaluate," Corelli said.
Corelli said the destroyed residences could include houses and mobile homes. Of all the structures that burned to the ground, 29 were outbuildings.
More than 1,900 firefighters continue to work on extending a containment line all the way around the burn area.
The Powerhouse Fire erupted a week ago in rural lands near a utility facility about 45 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The estimated cost of fighting the fire has risen to $11.4 million. The fire has burned more than 30,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest.