A state of emergency has been declared in the California city of Laguna Nigel, as large houses overlooking the ocean near Laguna Beach were engulfed in flames as a result of rapid fire.
The blaze, dubbed a coastal fire, broke out near a water treatment plant between Laguna Nigel and Laguna Beach at 2:44 p.m. local time, ABC7 reports, and by 8 p.m. had grown to nearly 200 acres.
The fire was heated by strong winds and flew along hiking trails in the hills, already engulfing 20 homes in an exclusive enclave where real estate is regularly sold for millions of dollars.
Currently, the fire does not threaten Laguna Beach itself, but is forcing evacuation to nearby Laguna Nigel.
At about 4 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Office also ordered the evacuation of people living in the Pacific Island Drive and Coronada Pointe area. According to Zillow, homes along Coronada-Pointe are selling for $ 1-10 million.
The four-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion worth $ 6.6 million at Coronado Pointe, 35 has completely lost its roof from the flames. Firefighters fought to save the walls and nearby property.
Explosions were heard from one house – presumably the sound of an explosion of ammunition.
In addition, residents near Moulton Meadows and Balba Nice were advised to be ready to flee at any moment.
Laguna Beach High School was evacuated. As of 21:00 local time, there is no information about the victims.
Smoke was observed rising from a coastal fire that broke out near a water treatment plant between Laguna Nigel and Laguna Beach at 14.44 local time
The fire broke out around 2:44 p.m. and engulfed an area known for its hiking trails and ocean views
Firefighters focused on limiting the damage to multimillion-dollar homes and tried to save as much of the community as possible
The $ 6.6 million house, 35 Coronado Pointe, is on fire when the fire sweeps from the coast
Houses along the Pointe Coronada, with their gorgeous views of the ocean valley, easily sell for $ 2 million, and some for $ 10 million, according to Zillow
You can see how firefighters use water cannons to save a burning mansion in Nigel Lagoon
Hours after the fire in Orange County, California, the house was engulfed in flames
The big house is on fire after a coastal fire broke out Tuesday afternoon. Residents were ordered to evacuate
A fire truck is visible at the scene of the fire. Helicopters that lower the water are used to fight the fire
Brian Fennesi, head of the Orange County Fire Department, told ABC 7 in Los Angeles that his team was trying to save as many homes as possible.
“It’s all about protecting homes that haven’t burned down yet,” Fennesi said from the scene.
“The firefighters behind me are really fighting aggressively.”
Fennesi told a news conference Wednesday night that he expects the wind to subside after sunset, which will help slow the spread, and that there have been no other major fires in Southern California that will allow firefighters from the area to focus their resources on Nigel Lagoon. .
The hilltop town of about 65,000 people is located near the coastal town of Laguna Beach, about 50 miles south of Los Angeles.
Dry bushes cover the surrounding hills and canyons as California experiences a historic drought.
“Unfortunately, I think that’s what we’re going to feel over the next few weeks and years,” Fennesi said.
“The vegetation is so dry that it doesn’t take long for the fire to unfold and burn very quickly.”
An evacuation has been ordered in the area as authorities work to take control of the blaze. Helicopters that lower the water are used to fight the fire.
The luxury resort and golf course – The Ranch at Laguna Beach – has been evacuated.
It is reported that the smoke could be seen for miles, and the fire was eliminated by zero percent.
“I think everyone knows we had a fire near the ranch today,” said Mike Garcia, head of the Laguna Beach Fire Department.
“It was a fire that was moving in the wind. And since it started today at about 3 o’clock, it went east.
“It’s becoming a pretty big fire that is burning several houses in the city of Laguna Nigel.
“I want to tell our community that the city of Laguna Beach is safe. We do not expect any changes.
“But we want all our residents to be vigilant, ready, aware.”
He said they would notify residents of any changes, but people should be prepared to “respond quickly”.
Along the slope of the hill you can see the smoke rising up the canyon towards Pointe Coronada
Houses were burning along an exclusive street overlooking the ocean
An evacuation has been ordered in the area as authorities work to take control of the blaze.
Huge clouds of smoke rise into the air in Orange County, California – around Nigel Lagoon
Ground and Orange County Fire and Air Brigade and Laguna Beach Fire Brigade worked to extinguish the flames moving up the mountain through the light and moderately dense vegetation.
Winds of up to 20 miles per hour blew flames, and relative humidity in the area was measured at 52 percent, said Mark Moed of the National Weather Service.
“The gusts reached 25 miles per hour when the fire started,” Moede said around 5 p.m.
“For the next hour or so, it will be windy, but should fall when the sun sets over the horizon.”
The last major fire in the area was the Emerald Fire on February 24th.
The previous fire had grown to about 150 acres before it was put out.
The first three months of 2022 were the driest in history.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, on Tuesday in return promised to spend $ 100 million on an advertising campaign across the state to encourage water savings.
The campaign will include traditional radio and television commercials, and pay people with a large number of subscribers on social media to encourage others to save water.
He also promised to spend $ 211 million to save water in state buildings by replacing plumbing fixtures and fuel controls.
In Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the United States, Mayor Eric Corsetti said residents and businesses would have to cut down on outdoor watering from three days a week to two.
Irrigation accounts for 35 percent of the city’s water use.
Urban water use accounts for a relatively small percentage of total water use in California compared to agriculture. But state farmers have also been affected as government and federal officials in some places have reduced water emissions to zero.
Demand for non-agricultural water is usually low in March, approaching the end of the rainy season in the state. Sometimes so much rain can fall in March that it compensates for the rest of the year, a phenomenon officials have called a “March miracle”.
But in March, California had only 1 inch of rainfall, and temperatures were 3 degrees warmer than usual, further increasing water demand.
A series of April storms has slightly improved the situation since March.
However, most of the state’s water bodies are well below their historical averages.
Reservoirs depend on melted snow from the Sierra Nevada to replenish them during the drier summer months. But as of April 1, the snowfall across the state was just 27 percent of the historical average.
“This is what we have. Here’s what we get. We can’t expect anything significant after that date, ”said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager at the California Department of Water Resources.
Government officials said 20 percent of the wells they monitor report low water levels all the time, while nearly half have less than 10 percent of historical averages.
In some cases, the state helps bring water to small settlements that do not have access to it. Government officials said they were providing assistance to 687 families as part of a small joint program to combat drought.
Some larger communities are also at risk.
According to forecasts, in Lindsay, a city with a population of about 13,000 people in the Central Valley of California, July 1 will run out of water.
Federal officials have approved additional appropriations for the city, which they say will have enough water to last until February – provided they continue to save.