Friday, July 30, 2010

Grote bosbranden bedreigen stroomvoorzieningen Californie... ( KTLA News.. US)

The 'Crown Fire' west of Palmdale burns dangerously close to power lines. (KTLA-TV / July 30, 2010)

PALMDALE, Calif. -- Firefighters are making an aggressive air attack against a large brush fire burning west of Palmdale that's threatening the power supply to all of Southern California.

The "Crown Fire" near the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce has chewed through more than 8,000 acres since it broke out around 3 p.m. Thursday north of Sierra Highway at Anthony Road.

Fire officials on Friday morning said the flames were burning dangerously close to power lines that supply electricity to Southern California. Air tankers were dropping water and fire retardant around that area in an effort to stop the flames from burning the power infrastructure.

Officials with the Department of Water and Power are asking customers in the area to conserve energy to reduce the strain on the power system. Officials say there is no immediate threat to the Southern California power supply, but there are concerns about power problems later in the day when usage escalates.

Residents in the Antiverde and Groves developments have been asked to evacuate as the fire burned dangerously close Friday afternoon.

Los Angeles County Fire officials said the fire is 5-percent contained.

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The fast-moving blaze forced evacuations Thursday for residents of 2,000 homes in the area, according to fire officials.

Those residents were allowed to return with identification Friday morning.

Fire investigators are focusing on some workers who were trying to remove a tire rim by hammering on bolts, according to The workers are cooperatving with the investigation.

Despite firefighters' beliefs the California Aqueduct would act as a firebreak, flames leaped over the aqueduct and burned closer to Palmdale and Rancho Vista late Thursday night.

The flames grew closer to residences near Rancho Vista Boulevard and 30th Street West, but fire crews reported they were able to fight the blaze back and away from homes.

The fire is generating its own wind, and is being driven by heavy brush and dry brown grasses, according to Fire Inspector Matt Levesque. It is burning actively on all flanks in a northeasterly direction, officials said.

At least one house off Lake Elizabeth Road was fully engulfed in fire Thursday, while flames were seen encroaching on other homes in the area.

Officials have not yet confirmed how many and what kinds of structures were burned in the fire.

A second fire, the "Briggs Fire" in Acton, started burning south of the 14 Freeway near Soledad Canyon Road.

The fire consumed 350 acres before fire crews knocked it down at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, County fire officials reported.

It was moving toward last year's Station Fire burn area, a 160,577-acre region.

Flames were burning near 8334 Soledad Canyon Road between Indian Truck Trail and Briggs Road, threatening homes 35900 Anthony Road.

A third fire, off Lancaster Road near Gorman, burned about 30 acres before it was put out.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are offering quick text updates that can be obtained by texting FIRE to 888777, as well as detailed email reports from