A brush fire that started at about 14:45 LT on May 11, 2022, approximately 0.6 km (1 mile) east of the coast in the city of Laguna Niguel, Southern California quickly reached densely packed homes destroying or damaging at least 20 of them.
Brian Fennessy, Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, said at 19:54 LT that the fire had burned about 80 ha (200 acres) and that he was aware of approximately 20 homes that were destroyed or damaged.
The Chief said some of the homes appeared to have been ignited not by direct flame impingement, but from the ember shower, possibly passing through unscreened attic vents.1
“Crews will be conducting damage assessments overnight and monitoring for hotspots or flying embers that could spark more damaging flames,” Fennessy said, adding that no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
The area north of the intersection of Flying Cloud Drive and Pacific Island Drive to the intersection of Highlands Avenue and Pacific Island Drive is under Mandatory Evacuation Order.
The area south of Flying Cloud Drive and Pacific Island Drive to the intersection of Pacific Island Drive and Crown Valley Parkway is under a Voluntary Evacuation Warning.
An Evacuation Warning has been lifted for the Balboa Nyes (Portafina) neighborhood in Laguna Beach and those who voluntarily evacuated may return to their homes. There is currently no immediate threat to the City of Laguna Beach from a vegetation fire burning in Laguna Niguel, but the City is asking residents to remain vigilant overnight.
Smoke from the Coastal Fire may pose a health danger to some Orange County residents, especially those in certain high-risk groups, the county’s Sheriff’s Department said.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a Smoke Advisory for Orange County in the Saddleback Valley, Central Coastal area, and Capistrano Valley.2
1 Multiple homes burn in Coastal Fire at Laguna Niguel, Southern California – Wildfire Today – May 11, 2022
2 Coastal Fire – Orange County Sheriff’s Department – May 11, 2022
Featured image credit: KTLA 5 (stillshot)
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