LADWP Statement Regarding Powerhouse Fire
|As previously announced, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) has been cooperating fully with an ongoing civil investigation being conducted by the U.S. Forest Service into the cause of the May 30, 2013 Powerhouse Fire. LADWP is also aware of lawsuits filed by law firms representing families and businesses impacted by the fire.
LADWP has also been conducting its own investigation into all potential causes of the fire. That investigation remains ongoing. The U.S. Forest Service has advised LADWP that it has concluded its investigation and the Department has made a formal request for the investigative report, which has not yet been received. Once the final investigative report has been received and reviewed, LADWP will have further comment on the findings.
The Powerhouse fire started near LADWP’s historic Powerhouse 1, the site of the original hydroelectric power plant for the City of Los Angeles. LADWP has furnished investigators with all information requested. LADWP does not believe that equipment age was a factor in the cause of the fire.
Background on the Powerhouse 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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