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California wildfires – live: Homes in Laguna Beach area destroyed during mandatory evacuations

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Coastal wildfire has hit Orange County, California

A wildfire near Laguna Beach, California has already destroyed 20 homes and is likely to ravage the region throughout the day.

The blaze – dubbed the Coastal Fire – raged into the early hours of Thursday morning, during which time firefighters were dispatched to try to stem its advance.

Despite their efforts, a number of homes — including five multimillion-dollar mansions, one of which was listed for $10 million — remained in smoldering ruins by Thursday morning as the fire continued to grow to about 200 acres.

The wildfire is partly the ongoing drought affecting much of the western and southwestern United States. The lack of rain means that the regional flora dries up, which then creates ideal conditions to stoke forest fires.

Firefighters believe the fire started in Aliso Woods Canyon, which is adjacent to one of the Laguna neighborhoods. Eviction orders have been issued for portions of Laguna Niguel.

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Meanwhile, the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in New Mexico has grown to over 400 square miles – about the size of San Antonio, Texas.

The fire has burned for weeks as crews work to protect residents in and around the Santa Fe National Forest

Ethan FreimanMay 12, 2022 4:30 p.m

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Last night Chief Fennessy emphasized the role of the climate crisis in creating the conditions for this fire

“We’re seeing spread in a way we’ve never seen before,” he said, adding that crews could probably have contained the fire to an acre or two if vegetation hadn’t been so dry

The fire is now around 200 acres, about the size of 150 American football fields

Ethan FreimanMay 12, 2022 3:56 p.m

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At a news conference last night, Orange County Fire Department Chief Brian Fennessy said there were no known injuries and around 20 buildings were destroyed

The fire department will provide another update today at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Ethan FreimanMay 12, 2022 3:48 p.m

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Aerial footage shows fire burning in the gorge and areas where firefighters are trying to contain the blaze

Ethan FreimanMay 12, 2022 3:44 p.m

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Plumes of smoke obscure the skies over Laguna Beach neighborhoods

Footage from Laguna Beach shows plumes of smoke from the nearby shore fire rising skyward over the neighborhood.

The fire spread in the early hours of Thursday and now encompasses more than 200 acres.

Graig GraziosiMay 12, 2022 3:31 p.m

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Welcome to the live blog

Welcome to that of the independent Live coverage of the Coastal Fire raging through the seaside community of Laguna Beach, Southern California.

The fire has grown to 200 acres as responders battle strong ocean winds and drought conditions to get the blaze under control.

Graig GraziosiMay 12, 2022 3:29 p.m

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-wildfires-map-laguna-beach-b2077615.html California wildfires – live: Homes in Laguna Beach area destroyed during mandatory evacuations

Bobby Allyn

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