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LA fire destroyed 24 homes

Posted on June 26, 2013

On Thursday in the mountains north of Los Angeles, a wildfire burned and destroyed 24 homes including a number of summer cabins, fire officials gathered after it was safe enough to send in an on-foot assessment team.

Officials in California warned of a particularly early and intense start of the fire season as the damage wrought by the Powerhouse Fire persists. Two major wildfires are also burning in New Mexico, including one that was threatening Native American sites.

A previous estimate had put the number of residences damaged or destroyed by the Powerhouse Fire at 15. The blaze, which has consumed over 30,000 acres, has also destroyed another 29 outbuildings.

Firefighters have been able to contain the majority of the blaze, which began a week ago in northwest Los Angeles County and has burned through the brush lands in mountainous terrain near the towns of Lancaster and Palmdale. The blaze was 78 percent contained, with full containment predicted for Monday.

“Definitely we’ve turned the corner, there’s no question about that,” U.S. Forest Service Safety Officer Ron Ashdale said.

But the weather in the coming days is expected to get warmer, which could complicated firefighting efforts.

On Thursday the temperature high was 97 degrees Fahrenheit and winds could shift on Friday and Saturday and threaten to spread flames toward a containment line that is nevertheless expected to hold, Ashdale said.

Particularly around the Lake Hughes area that was touched by the blaze, some of the 24 home destroyed in the Powerhouse Fire are believed to be primary residences, but others are summer cabins in the Angeles National Forest, fire officials said.

The cause of the blaze, which broke out near a remote powerhouse and has cost $16 million to fight, is still under investigation.

English: Large Bonfire

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