California brush fire threatens homes and prompts evacuations
Laguna Beach, California – A brush fire that broke out in the hills of southern California's Laguna Beach amid high temperatures and winds forced residents to flee their homes early Thursday.
The fire was initially estimated at around seven acres, but officials said they expect that number to jump.
The blaze comes during a heat wave in the region. Temperatures for the beach community were expected to rise into the mid-70s on Thursday.
The National Weather Service also issued a wind advisory.
Laguna Beach, a seaside resort city south of Los Angeles, issued an evacuation for residents that appear most in danger.
"Homes are currently threatened with the possibility of more structures threatened if the fire spreads," the city said.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours in a wilderness area between Laguna Beach and the community of Emerald Bay near the Pacific Coast Highway. A thick plume of smoke hung in the air across the city.
Fire officials were battling the fire both on the ground and in the air, with the focus on protecting Emerald Bay homes in the path of the fire.
The fire forced the closure of all of the city's schools, the Laguna Beach Unified School District said.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire