Several homes were destroyed in Southern California Wednesday night as the Coastal Fire continued to spread.
At least 20 homes were burned down in Laguna Niguel and the fire had reached approximately 200 acres, according to the Orange County Fire Authority, which said it had “60 different types of resources battling the flames.”
Evacuation orders have been issued for Coronado Pointe Drive, Vista Court and Via Las Rosa in the Pacific Island area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. Voluntary evacuations are in place for Laguna Beach residents in the Balboa Nyes, or Portafina, neighborhood.
OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy said late Wednesday there are no reports of civilian or firefighter casualties. The crews fighting the blaze are starting to get a better handle on the fire and “great progress” is expected into the night and coming days, Fennessy said.
The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation is underway, according to the fire chief.
Fennessy said the fire started quickly and moved upslope over steep terrain, proving a challenge for hand crews to access. With fuels beds throughout the West being so dry, blazes like the Coastal Fire will “be more commonplace,” he said, adding that when winds couple with dry fuel, “fire is going to run on us.”
Strong winds were blowing embers into the attics of homes making it hard for firefighters to extinguish the blazes, as fires were jumping from house to house within the neighborhood, which is full of multimillion-dollar homes.
Laguna Niguel is south of Laguna Beach and about 25 miles down the coast from Huntington Beach.