A wildfire that erupted in Orange County, Southern California, on Wednesday burned at least 20 upscale houses leading to a mass evacuation in the Laguna Beach area. The local administration has also declared emergency to help fight the growing blaze.
According to fire department officials, several multi-million-dollar mansions were engulfed in the fast-moving bush fire, which was first reported around 2:45 pm.
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The flames were fanned by the gusty ocean winds near the Laguna Beach. The fire started near a water treatment facility and engulfed nearly acres by the evening.
It also swept through the hills and private enclave, destroying hiking routes.
Videos posted on social showed crews fighting the blaze from above with aircrafts, dropping fire retardant and water on the smoke congested area, according to New York Post. Officials are visiting every house in the area urging the residents to evacuate, the Post report further said.
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The Orange County Fire Officials (OCFO) on Twitter shared an evacuation order which said, “At this time, the area north of the intersection of Flying Cloud Dr and Pacific Island Dr to the intersection of Highlands Ave and Pacific Island Dr is under Mandatory Evacuation Order.”
The area south of Flying Cloud Dr and Pacific Island Dr to the intersection of Pacific Island Dr and Crown Valley Pkwy is under a Voluntary Evacuation Warning.
— OCFA PIO (@OCFireAuthority) May 12, 2022
According to the recent updates, the OCFO is currently working on putting together damage assessment teams to start inspecting the losses caused by the flames.
According to fire department officials, the fast-moving blaze has been caused by climate change. “We’re seeing spread in ways that we haven’t before,” Brian Fennessy, fire chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, was quoted as sayijg by the Post.
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The hilltop city of around 65,000 inhabitants is located about 50 miles south of Los Angeles. As California suffers from a terrible drought, dry bush covers the surrounding hills and valleys.