Wildfire Razes Down Canyons in Southern California

A massive wildfire has engulfed the densely populated suburban canyons of Southern California, sweeping through the edges of residential areas and down to the shoulders of a major highway. Luckily, fast-moving fire response teams were able to establish a control perimeter in Chino Hills, Corona and Anaheim, evacuating over 1,000 people from their homes and minimizing the damage caused.

According to reports from the region, the fire started at around 1 p.m. on Monday and quickly spread, covering over three square miles in one hour. Many homeowners watched in dismay as the fire razed down towards their homes. Luckily, the wind, which was blowing in the opposite direction, assisted the response team to control the fire before it could cause any further damages.

Drivers of the 91 freeway talked of terrifying moments as the fire razed the bushes along the side of the highway. They took dramatic yet terrifying videos of the scene as the flames consumed the vegetation along the highway. Some of them warned others through social media to avoid the freeway altogether, as the flames were very close.

Responding to the situation, the California Department of Transportation said on social media that it had cordoned off several lanes on the highways and that traffic was backed up about seven miles. The department closed the Green River Road at Palisades Drive and Paseo Grande. Residents who were not affected by the fire or evacuated were allowed to enter after identification.

The damage of the fire was traced down to one warehouse building and a massive rig that was burning in State Route 91. The freeway was like a barrier preventing the fire from spreading over to the other side. The weather conditions were fairly favorable for the response team, who worked overnight to try and control the fire. The temperatures were at the 60s and humidity slightly above 20 percent. Only 5 percent of the fire was contained.

The response team mainly used liquid-dropping planes and helicopters. The liquid-dropping planes were used only during the day, with the helicopters remaining to make drops on the flames throughout the night. Huge flames were visible over much of Orange County, including over thousands of sports fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The authorities are yet to determine the exact cause of the fire. However, evacuations are still on for residents who live near Green River Road all the way to Trudy Lane. The residents are being taken to the evacuation center at Corona High School where they will stay as firefighters continue to contain the flames.


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