Wind-fueled Laguna Niguel wildfire ravages upscale waterfront homes in Southern California – New York Post

An upscale Southern California waterfront neighborhood was evacuated Wednesday after a wildfire fanned by ocean winds burned at least 20 homes, reports said. 

The blaze in Laguna Niguel was first reported around 2:45 p.m. and had engulfed about 200 acres by 6 p.m., authorities said at an evening press conference.

Several multi million-dollar mansions were among the residences in the ritzy neighborhood that went up in flames.

Smoke from a wildfire rises above a residential area in Laguna Niguel, Orange County, California.
Smoke from a wildfire rises above a residential area in Laguna Niguel, Orange County, California.
TIM WHEATON via REUTERS

Officials reportedly declared a state of emergency in Laguna Niguel to help fight the growing fire.

Dramatic helicopter video aired by KABC-TV showed the fire climbing up a brush covered hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean and spreading across Ocean County’s Aliso Summit Hiking Trail to palatial houses on the top of the hill.

Crews fought the blaze from above with aircrafts, dropping fire retardant and water on the smoke congested area, video showed.

Residents of the Coronado Pointe and Pacific Island Drive neighborhoods were ordered to leave their homes, while voluntary evacuations were in effect in nearby Laguna Beach, officials said.

Cars flee from the fire in Laguna Niguel in Orange County, California.
Cars flee from the fire in Laguna Niguel in Orange County, California.
DEMIR BRACIC via REUTERS

Deputies and firefighters went from house to house to evacuate residents as a state of emergency was issued, officials said.

Twenty-five adults, two children and five pets had sought shelter at a local community center where the Red Cross was providing outreach services, according to authorities.

Officials said climate change had contributed to the fast moving blaze.

Firefighters work to put out a fire that has consumed a house by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California.
Firefighters work to put out a fire that has consumed a house by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California.
EPA

“We’re seeing spread in ways that we haven’t before,” Brian Fennessy, fire chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, said.

“The fire is spreading very quickly into this very dry vegetation and is taking off.”

The Coastal Fire destroys a house in Laguna Niguel, California.
The Coastal Fire destroys a house in Laguna Niguel, California.
EPA

One of the concerns for me as a fire chief obviously is the safety of my firefighters,” Fennessy added. 

“There’s no structure, there’s no vegetation that is more valuable than human life or firefighter life.”

No injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported, officials said.

The latest reports state that the 200 acre fire has destroyed more than a dozen homes.
The latest reports state that the 200 acre fire has destroyed more than a dozen homes.
EPA
A firefighter works to put at a structure burning during a wildfire.
A firefighter works to put at a structure burning during a wildfire.
AP
Fires blaze on a hillside in California with a fire truck in the foreground.
Fires blaze on a hillside in Laguna Niguel.
OCSDLagunaNigue/Twitter
Firefighters work to put out a house fire caused by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel.
Firefighters work to put out a house fire caused by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel.
EPA
Firefighters work to put out a structure burning during a wildfire.
Firefighters work to put out a structure burning during a wildfire.
AP
A car smolders in front of a destroyed home during a wildfire.
A car smolders in front of a destroyed home during a wildfire.
AP
A firefighter reacts in front of a house burning as they work to put out fires caused by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel.
A firefighter reacts in front of a house burning as they work to put out fires caused by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel.
EPA
A fire department helicopter makes a drop on the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California.
A fire department helicopter makes a drop on the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California.
EPA

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