California fire grows to 25,000 acres, homes burned, evacuations ordered

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LOS ANGELES (Los Angeles Times) —  Hundreds of homes in the Palmdale area remained under evacuation orders as firefighters struggled to get control of the Powerhouse fire, which has grown to 25,000 acres.

The blaze has scorched some dry brush that has not burned since 1929, officials said. The fire, which broke out Thursday afternoon, has destroyed six homes and is about 20% contained as of Sunday afternoon.

Officials said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that people who were evacuated from their homes in the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas would not be able to return and that the orders may remain in effect for “at least 24 hours, maybe 48.”

The Lake Hughes community remains under mandatory evacuation, and the Lake Elizabeth community is under voluntary evacuation. The Cottonwood Campground and about 140 juveniles from the John Munz and William Mendenhall probation camps have also been evacuated.

Authorities also asked that residents near the intersection of Munz Ranch Road and the California Aqueduct, as well as all residents north of South Portal and west of San Francisquito Canyon Road, leave their homes.

The evacuation orders affect about 2,800 people, officials said. About 1,000 more residents of nearby Green Valley may also be forced to leave their homes tonight if the fire turns toward them, authorities said.

Three of about 2,100 firefighting personnel on the scene suffered minor injuries, from a falling rock, heat stress and poison oak, officials said. Two were treated on site and returned to work.

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