LADWP Statement Regarding Lawsuit Filed in Connection with May 2013 Powerhouse Fire
|The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has been cooperating fully with an ongoing civil investigation being conducted by the US Forest Service into the cause of the May 30, 2013 Powerhouse Fire. LADWP is also aware of a lawsuit filed by a law firm representing families and businesses impacted by the fire.
The LADWP has also been conducting its own investigation into all potential causes of the fire. As with the US Forest Service investigation, the Department’s investigation is also ongoing. The fire started near LADWP’s historic Powerhouse 1, the site of the original hydroelectric power plant for the City of Los Angeles. No final determination has been made regarding the cause of the fire.
LADWP has furnished the investigators with all information requested. LADWP does not believe that equipment age was a factor in the cause of the fire.
The Powerhouse fire started near San Francisquito Road, which connects the City of Santa Clarita and the communities of Lake Elizabeth, in the San Francisquito Canyon in the early evening hours of May 30. It was discovered by an LADWP employee and promptly reported. Winds during the weekend fanned the fire causing its rapid spread to over 50 square miles. LADWP property, including employee housing was also damaged in the fire.
Powerhouse No. 1, located near where the fire started, is the original power plant for the municipal utility. A hydroelectric plant located on the Los Angeles aqueduct, it was built in 1917. The area has not experienced a major fire since the 1920s which resulted in a significant fuel for the fire after the weekend winds caused the fire to spread rapidly. The power plant currently produces approximately 45 megawatts of power.
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