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Crown fire burns nearly 6,000 acres, more evacuations ordered

July 29, 2010 | 11:22 pm

Crown fire The Crown fire burning in northern Los Angeles County was threatening at least 1,500 homes in Leona Valley on Thursday night, according to the Fire Department.

Several structures have been lost, officials said, but they would not be able to determine whether those were homes or outbuildings on the many ranches in the area until Friday.

Capt. Sam Padilla, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said the Crown fire has burned nearly 6,000 acres. In addition to Leona Valley, evacuation orders have been issued for the nearby community of Ana Verde; and the fire was moving east toward Quartz Hill, leaving the possibility of more evacuations overnight.

Although flames were burning below transmission towers in the area, Padilla said there have been no interruptions of power to surrounding communities. At least one communications tower was on fire.

Inspector Matt Levesque of the L.A. County Fire Department said the fire is now generating its own wind, which can hamper firefighting efforts.

The burning structures were on the northern side of Leona Valley, an agricultural area west of Palmdale known for cherries and wine grapes.

About 500 firefighters are on the scene.

Shelters for people and small pets have been set up at the Agua Dulce Elementary School at 11311 W. Frascati St. and the Acton Community Center at 3748 Nickels Ave. Large animals can be taken to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 155 E Ave., Lancaster.

-- Dan Weikel

Photo: Firefighters monitor the Crown fire from a spot along Elizabeth Lake Road in Leona Valley. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times