Forest Service releases cause of Powerhouse Fire

The U.S. Forest Service released a very brief statement today saying that the cause of the 30,000 acre Powerhouse Fire that destroyed 24 homes in 2013 in northern Los Angeles County was “electrical power lines creating a competent ignition source”. No other information was provided about the exact cause. The short news release ended with this:

For further information please submit a request for a copy of Forest Service Report of Investigation 13-05-7878776 through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process.

According to a lawsuit that has been filed, the fire started at or near a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) hydroelectric power plant north of Santa Clarita, California. An investigation by the Daily News found that some of the power poles in the area were deteriorated and were 80 years old. An average pole life is 60 years, experts say, but the DWP contends that equipment age was not a factor in the cause of the fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.