Coastal Fire destroys at least 20 homes in Orange County, California
Residents remained under evacuation orders early Thursday after a wildfire propelled by ocean wind traveled up a hillside and quickly burned at least 20 homes in the Laguna Niguel area.
The coastal fire burned nearly 200 acres after it started early Wednesday morning in Aliso Woods Canyon. There are no containment measures, but winds are expected to ease Thursday after 20 to 30 mph gusts sparked flames in the hilltop area.
About 900 homes remained under evacuation orders on Thursday morning. Video from NewsChopper4 showed spot fires early Thursday morning as firefighters appeared to be putting out the fire between Laguna Niguel and the nearby town of Laguna Beach.
Panicked families gathered at the Coronado Pointe base, one of the evacuated areas, on Wednesday as firefighters tried to slow the blaze and smoke filled the sky.
“I saw fires break out in my house and then I left with my wife,” said Abi Farsoni, who left his computer and everything he owns. “It’s terrible for the residents. You don’t know if your house is still there. We do not know. I have many things. I didn’t have time to pick them up.”
He later learned that his house was still standing.
The flames engulfed several estates on a hillside overlooking the ocean. It was only a few minutes before many were destroyed by the incessant fire, which threw coals scattered by the wind onto the roofs.
“Now the whole street is in disarray,” said local resident Carson Williams.
Aircraft dropping water were part of the fight against the spread of fire.
How did the fire in Laguna Niguel start?
Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the wildfire.
Edison of Southern California reported possible “chain activity” around the time the fire started on Wednesday afternoon.
“Our thoughts are with the members of the community whose homes have been damaged and those who have been (or have been) evacuated due to the coastal fire, and we are coordinating with the fire department as necessary to ensure the safety of firefighters,” the statement said. utility company. . “Our top priority is the safety of customers, employees and communities, so we continue to step up our efforts to mitigate the effects of wildfires through network strengthening, situational awareness and improved operational practices.”
ESIR reports are required for certain types of incidents. The report is intended to inform the CPUC of the network’s activities so that the agency can investigate.
Previously, electrical equipment has been linked to devastating wildfires in California that spread quickly in strong winds.
Last year, the State Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement to impose more than half a billion dollars in fines and penalties against Edison in Southern California for its role in five wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
What areas remain under evacuation orders?
An evacuation order was issued in the Coronado Pointe and Pacific Island Drive areas, and voluntary evacuation orders were issued in the Balboa Nyez and Moulton Meadows areas of Laguna Beach. Students involved in extracurricular activities at Laguna Beach High School were also evacuated, according to the school district.
The deputies asked the residents of San Simeon, Sierra Vista, Alta Terra, Nusella, Serana, Avante, Tanarron, Teracina, Islands Avenue, Capri Court, Sunrise Lane, Chapala Court, Arelu Court and Anamonte to evacuate.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Laguna Niguel Community Center at 28751 Crown Valley Parkway, Steinle said.
Find an interactive map of evacuations, road closures, and coastal fire shelters in Orange County here.
On Thursday, a smoke warning was issued for parts of the area. The smoke could be seen for miles along the coast of Orange and Los Angeles counties.
The western United States is facing a mega-drought that has covered hillsides with dry brush that fuels wildfires. California is experiencing one of the driest winters on record, raising concerns about how quickly wildfires can spread, especially in windy conditions.
The nation’s most populous state is experiencing its third driest year in a row.
By May 6, more than 1,500 wildfires had burned 6,700 acres of land in California, according to CalFire statistics. Last year over the same period, about 1,900 wildfires burned more than 13,200 acres.
On a five-year average, the state saw 1,156 wildfires and 5,893 acres burned during that period.