Southern California: Powerhouse Fire explodes in size, destroys homes (VIDEO)


Lakefront houses burn in the Powerhouse Fire in the early morning hours of June 2, 2013, in Lake Hughes, Calif. The 19,500-acre wildfire destroyed numerous homes overnight. Nearly 1,000 firefighters have been working in hot, dry conditions to establish containment lines around 20 percent of the fire so far.


David McNew

The Powerhouse Fire exploded to at least 19,500 acres overnight Sunday, destroying at least six homes and forcing more evacuations north of Los Angeles.

As of Saturday afternoon, the fire had burned just 3,600 acres, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Erratic winds fanned the flames amid hot, dry conditions.

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Nearly 1,000 homes in two foothills communities had to be evacuated, and a local fire station was surrounded by flames at one point.

"Driving away, you could see the town burning up," area resident Patty Robitaille, 61, told the Times. "I don’t think there’s going to be much left."

Three injuries were reported due to the fire, which was just 20 percent contained on Sunday.

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Matt Corelli of the National Forest Service told The Associated Press that six structures had been destroyed.

They were later confirmed to be homes in the Palmdale area.

The wildfire broke out Thursday afternoon just north of a hydroelectric plant near the Los Angeles Aquaduct, threatening major power lines at one point. The cause remains under investigation.