CNN: Authorities urge evacuation as at least 20 homes in Orange County, California, have been consumed by a fast-moving fire

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On Wednesday, a fast-moving brush fire in Orange County, California, torched at least 20 homes and prompted emergency evacuations. The Laguna Niguel fire began Wednesday afternoon and spread to nearly 200 acres as it swept down houses along hillside streets in one of California’s wealthiest areas. No injuries have been recorded, Orange County Fire Authority commander Brian Fennessy said Wednesday night. According to local National Weather Service observations, the fire was fueled by strong winds reaching up to 30 mph in the region. This is on top of the dry conditions caused by the region’s prolonged drought, according to the most recent US Drought Monitor. As Fennessy stated, a brush fire like this used to be rather minor. Not any longer. “The fuel beds in this county, throughout Southern California, throughout the West, are so dry that a fire like this is going to be more commonplace,” he added. According to a press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Coronado Pointe Drive, Vista Court, and Via Las Rosa in Laguna Niguel’s Pacific Island region are under evacuation orders, and a receiving station for people who fled has been set up at the Crown Valley Community Center. More on the article by Taylor Romine, Christina Maxouris, and Aya Elamrouris can be viewed here.

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