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Fire north of L.A. burns thousands of acres, several structures

July 30, 2010 |  6:29 am

Crown fire

A wind-driven wildfire has burned more than seven square miles in the Leona Valley area in northern Los Angeles County, destroying several structures and spurring thousands of evacuations.

Firefighters on Friday morning were trying to prevent the fire from moving into densely populated areas in the Leona Valley near Palmdale. At least 1,500 homes are threatened. The winds that caused the flames to spread so quickly lessened overnight, but more high temperatures were predicted for Friday.

Firefighters also planned on Friday to get a better look at the extent of the damage to structures. Some power-distribution poles also have been destroyed.

As of 6 a.m., there was zero containment of the blaze, which had burned at least 7,000 acres.


Capt. Sam Padilla, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said the Crown fire had burned nearly 6,000 acres. In addition to Leona Valley, evacuation orders were issued for the nearby community of Ana Verde and the fire was moving east toward Quartz Hill.

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

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

A second blaze, the Briggs fire, burned more than 350 acres south of the 14 Freeway at Indian Canyon Truck Trail and Briggs Road. By late Thursday, firefighters said they had the blaze under control.

The third fire, off Lancaster Road near Gorman, burned about 30 acres before it was extinguished.

Inspector Matt Levesque of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said no injuries or fatalities had been reported in any of the fires.

-- Ann M. Simmons in Leona Valley and Dan Weikel

Photo: U.S. Forest Service personnel monitor the Crown fire on July 29, 2010. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times / July 29, 2010)

Crown Fire: Full coverage