A fast-moving brush fire has destroyed or damaged multiple homes in the Anaheim Hills area, and about 1,000 other residences remain threatened as the wind-whipped wildfire continued to burn out of control amid a red flag warning.
The fire broke out in the area of the eastbound 91 Freeway at the 241 shortly before 10 a.m., initially scorching 25 acres at it spread at a “moderate to rapid” rate, according to the Anaheim Fire and Rescue Department.
By 12:30 p.m., the size had increased dramatically, burning between 500 to 800 acres.
An hour later, the Orange County Fire Authority estimated the fire had burned 2,000 acres and was 0 percent contained.
“We’ve got winds out here gusting up to 45 mph, and that’s what driving this fire. It’s been an extreme rate of spread,” said Sgt. Daron Wyatt with Anaheim Fire and Rescue.
Homes just southwest of the interchange of the 241 and 91 freeways appeared to be most threatened, aerial video from Sky5 showed. Fox Hollow Drive, Cedar Point Drive, Garden View Drive, Canyon Heights Drive were in the fire’s path as blaze made its way up the hill from the 241.
Two homes on Canyon Heights Drive were among the first to have caught fire, including one residence that was well-involved in flames after flames raced up a nearby ridge, the aerial footage showed. A short time later, several homes in the neighborhood, some other streets, were also engulfed in flames.
More than 200 firefighters were on scene battling the fire, aided by six helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft, according to the Fire Authority.
As firefighters fought the flames by ground and air, evacuation orders are in place for the following areas of Anaheim Hills and the City of Orange:
- East of South Weir Canyon Road and South Serrano Avenue
- South of the 91 Freeway, west of the 241, north of Nohl Canyon Road and east of Serrano.
- Nohl Ranch Road and Canyon Rim
- North of Santiago Canyon, south of Maybury Ranch, south of Santiago Oaks, including Hunter Avenue, Windes Drive and Lolita Street.
Residents in the area south of Walnut Canyon Reservoir should get read to evacuate, the Fire Department tweeted around 1:30 p.m.