Evacuation orders still in place for Laguna Niguel wildfire

Hundreds of firefighters Friday continued to battle a wildfire which has destroyed at least 20 homes in the upscale coastal community of Laguna Niguel.

The Coastal Fire has scorched 200 acres as of Friday morning and is 25% contained. Twenty homes have been destroyed and another 11 damaged.

About 550 firefighters were still assigned to the blaze, attacking it on the ground and in the air. Two firefighters have suffered minor injuries in the fight.

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Mandatory evacuation orders remain for about 900 homes. The mandatory evacuations were in place for the area north of the intersection of Flying Cloud and Pacific Island drives, to the intersection of Highlands Avenue and Pacific Island Drive. Neighborhoods accessed from Niguel Road, west of Highlands Avenue, are also under mandatory evacuations

Voluntary evacuation orders were in place for the area south of Flying Cloud and Pacific Island drives, to the intersection of Pacific Island Drive and Crown Valley Parkway.

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The Coastal Fire was reported at 2:44 p.m. Wednesday in the Aliso Wood Canyon near the South Orange County Wastewater Authority’s Coastal Treatment Plant, which handles sewage for the Laguna Beach area.

It chewed through brush in Aliso Wood Canyon before spreading quickly up hillsides, aided by ocean winds that sparked spot fires ahead of the main blaze.

The fire pushed its way uphill, advancing on Aliso Summit Trail and into the Coronado Pointe gated community, where multiple multimillion-dollar homes burned. Powerful coastal winds pushed embers through the area, with the blaze jumping from home to home. While one home may have been spared, another next to it may have been destroyed, depending on how the embers flew.

The treatment plant was not damaged.

The cause is still under investigation. However, in a publicly released report Wednesday night, Southern California Edison disclosed that there was “circuit activity occurring close in time to the reported time of the fire.”

Public utility companies are required to notify the state if their equipment was possibly involved in any wildfire incidents.

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/evacuation-orders-still-in-place-for-laguna-niguel-wildfire/

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