California Wildfires

Brush Fires Near Laguna Beach Force Closure of San Joaquin Hills Toll Road

Firefighters were set to remain on the scene throughout the night to extinguish remaining hot spots.

Brush burns along Highway 73 in Orange County.
OCFA

Multiple brush fires near Laguna Beach Wednesday caused the closure of the San Joaquin Hills toll road in both directions near the Laguna Freeway.

The Orange County Fire Authority was first alerted to the brush fires about 3:30 p.m. along the southbound toll road just west of the Laguna Freeway, said OCFA Capt. Sean Doran.

There were three separate blazes along the area within 300 yards of each other, Doran said.

"There was one small spot fire we had go across to the northbound side, but we made that a priority drop" and it was quickly extinguished, Doran said.

One fire was along the Newport Coast, he said.

"We've made significant progress" on extinguishing the blazes, Doran said around 5 p.m. Firefighters are "collectively making good progress on it" with air drops and ground crews with bulldozers.

The fires' progress was stopped around 5:30 p.m. after scorching about eight acres, the OCFA said.

Firefighters were set to remain on the scene throughout the night to extinguish remaining hot spots.

There was no immediate word of any structure damage or injuries and investigators were at the scene to determine a cause of the fires, the OCFA reported.

The fires burned in some of the warmest conditions of the year in Southern California.

Temperatures in the Laguna Hills area were in the low-80s with calm winds.

Nearly 3,000 fires have burned more than 14,000 acres this year in California. Through mid-June 2020, more than 2,300 fires burned more than 15,000 acres during what was a record-setting year for wildfires in California.

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