State Watch

Brush fire forces evacuation of Laguna Beach

Firefighters watch as a wildfire burns outside Laguna Beach, Calif.
Associated Press/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Residents in Laguna Beach, Calif., were forced to evacuate on Thursday morning after a brush fire broke out in the hills, burning across nearly 150 acres by the early morning.

Fueled by winds and low humidity, the blaze, dubbed the Emerald Fire, broke out some time around 4 a.m., according to NewsNation. Around 145 acres of land have been burned so far. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

As of Thursday afternoon, the evacuation order is still in effect for Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay. An evacuation warning has been issued for all of North Laguna. No reports of structural loss have been made so far, according to the Laguna Beach city government.

All Laguna Beach School District and Anneliese schools have been closed due to the fire. The State Route 1 highway in California has been shut down between Broadway in Laguna Beach and Newport Coast Drive in Newport Beach.

“People have been here a long time and they’re very sensitive. They’re very worried,” Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “I think we have a good team working on this. I’m confident we’ll get through this.”

The Los Angeles County Fire Department sent out two water-dropping helicopters to help in fighting the fire. The Newport Beach Fire Department, the California Department of Transportation, the city of Irvine, the city of Laguna Niguel, the city of Mission Viejo and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are all providing assistance in combating the blaze.

Tags brush fire California Geography of California Laguna Beach, California Orange County, California wildfires
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