Wildfires in a residential area in California destroyed more than a dozen homes on Wednesday evening, local authorities said. A coastal fire in the Aliso Wood Canyon between Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach just before 3pm local time has so far burned approximately 200 acres and is 0% extinguished.
So far, there have been no casualties, the fire department said. Authorities do not know what caused the fire as of Wednesday evening.
The fire started with a 50 x 50 foot plant fire. It soon grew to 30 acres before increasing to 3 acres of Blaze, and to 200 acres in just a few hours. Strong winds were blowing the blaze in ‘east and north’ directions when firefighters first arrived, fire officials said Wednesday night. Fire officials estimated that about 20 residential buildings had been destroyed as of 7:30 p.m. local time, but said a more accurate assessment will be made on Thursday morning.
Officials said the area’s steep terrain made it difficult to operate hose lines and bring ground workers to areas where vegetation was burning.
Fixed-wing planes were used to drop flame retardants onto the mountain slopes where the fires started to slow the progression of the flames. CBS Los Angeles Report. Dripping helicopters and tankers were also used to extinguish the fire, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said Wednesday evening, “What we’re seeing today is something we’re not accustomed to at this time of year or in a situation like this.” “We keep talking about the Year of Fire. This is another prime example. The wind we experienced today is a moderate wind. Very strong winds from the coast, up the slopes. The main difference is here in the southern canyon. It’s vegetation. California across the West is so dry it doesn’t take much time. The fuel wetting agent is so low that fires are engulfing us.”
“Unfortunately, I think this is something we will be experiencing in the months and years to come,” Fennessy added.
CBS Los Angeles reported that several evacuation orders and voluntary evacuations are in effect. Orange County Sheriff’s Colonel Virgil Asuncion said the road leading to the area of the fire had been closed and officials believe there are about 100 buildings in the area.
Students at Laguna Beach High School were evacuated from after-school activities.
Laguna Niguel Mayor Elaine Gennawey said 25 adults, two children and five pets were waiting at the shelter on Wednesday night.
The cat reports that it was rescued from one of the houses earlier a day. Firefighters also reported that at some point they heard what they believe was an explosion of ammunition in one of the houses that were set on fire.
A video shared on social media showed a huge plume of smoke.