Wealthy Laguna Beach residents ordered to EVACUATE as wildfire threatens their homes

Wealthy Laguna Beach residents ordered to EVACUATE as wildfire threatens their homes

Wealthy Laguna Beach residents have been ordered to evacuate as a massive wildfire, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and heat, threatens their million-dollar homes.

The Emerald Fire, first reported at 4 a.m. Thursday, burned approximately 145 acres on the hillside above the gated community of Emerald Bay, according to the Orange County Fire Department.

Flames and smoke could be seen from Long Beach and other parts of Southern California.

The fire is now 5 percent contained, prompting an evacuation order for residents of Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, as well as North Lagoon.

The fire was caused by high temperatures in Los Angeles, where the National Weather Service issued heat advisories Wednesday through Sunday evening.

Temperatures in the region are expected to rise to 80 degrees on Thursday, while the National Weather Service issued a northeasterly wind warning of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Two firefighters watch as a helicopter drops water on the Emerald Fire, which burned 145 acres on Thursday.

Two firefighters watch as a helicopter drops water on the Emerald Fire, which burned 145 acres on Thursday.

Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading to the luxurious Laguna Beach area, known for its cliffs, coves and picturesque seven-mile coastline.

Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading to the luxurious Laguna Beach area, known for its cliffs, coves and picturesque seven-mile coastline.

Firefighters watch as a helicopter dumps water on the Emerald Fire, which has burned 145 acres as of Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters watch as a helicopter dumps water on the Emerald Fire, which has burned 145 acres as of Thursday afternoon.

An aircraft drops flame retardant on a wildfire near houses in Laguna Beach.  So far, firefighters have managed to keep the flames from damaging homes.

An aircraft drops flame retardant on a wildfire near houses in Laguna Beach. So far, firefighters have managed to keep the flames from damaging homes.

Firefighters are working hard to put out the blaze.  Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department sent two water drop helicopters to help put out the fire, while CAL Fire dispatched six air tankers.

Firefighters are working hard to put out the blaze. Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department sent two water drop helicopters to help put out the fire, while CAL Fire dispatched six air tankers.

The fire is now 5 percent contained, prompting an evacuation order for residents of Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, as well as North Lagoon.

The fire is now 5 percent contained, prompting an evacuation order for residents of Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, as well as North Lagoon.

So far, not a single house has been damaged.

All schools in the Laguna Beach School District were closed on Thursday, as well as Annelise’s private schools.

The Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, as well as the Los Olivos Community Center in Irvine, are used as places to care for and receive evacuees.

Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department sent two water drop helicopters to help put out the fire, while CAL Fire dispatched six air tankers.

Orange County fire officials said fire retardants would be dropped along the ridgeline to stop the fire from spreading to residential areas, NBC Los Angeles reported.

“We met this with a very strong response,” said Orange Count Fire Chief Brian Fennessy. “If we ask you to evacuate, please evacuate.”

The chief said the plan is to use air tankers to pre-treat the ridge between the north end of Emerald Bay and Newport Beach with a moderator to contain the fire on the ridge, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, as well as the Los Olivos Community Center in Irvine, were used as care and reception areas for evacuees.

The Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, as well as the Los Olivos Community Center in Irvine, were used as care and reception areas for evacuees.

The fire prompted an evacuation order from Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, as well as an evacuation warning from North Lagoon.

The fire prompted an evacuation order from Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay, as well as an evacuation warning from North Lagoon.

An emerald fire burns a cactus on Laguna Beach on Thursday as firefighters continue to fight the blaze, which has intensified due to high winds and high temperatures.

An emerald fire burns a cactus on Laguna Beach on Thursday as firefighters continue to fight the blaze, which has intensified due to high winds and high temperatures.

An aerial view of smoke from Thursday's Emerald Fire, which flared up around 4 a.m. and burned 145 acres.

An aerial view of smoke from Thursday’s Emerald Fire, which flared up around 4 a.m. and burned 145 acres.

Flames and smoke could be seen from Long Beach and other parts of Southern California.

Flames and smoke could be seen from Long Beach and other parts of Southern California.

The Emerald Fire, first reported at 4 a.m. Thursday, burned approximately 145 acres on the hillside above the gated community of Emerald Bay.

The Emerald Fire, first reported at 4 a.m. Thursday, burned approximately 145 acres on the hillside above the gated community of Emerald Bay.

The fire was caused by high temperatures in Los Angeles, where the National Weather Service issued heat advisories Wednesday through Sunday evening.

The fire was caused by hot temperatures in Los Angeles, where the National Weather Service issued heat advisories Wednesday through Sunday evening.

“Winds are expected to continue blowing over the next few days,” Fennessy said. “The fire is moving north. The fire engulfed the northern tip of the Emerald Bay. He’s moving towards the Newport Beach area, Newport Beach is still a long way off. It hangs on a ridge, I think it will be the north side of the Emerald Bay.

Fennessey said he is optimistic the fire will burn out of the area after the flames were blown north along the northern edge of the residential area.

“We’ve been lucky in that regard,” Fennessey said. “Now I’m pretty confident, as long as the weather allows.

“The main part of the fire is away from the buildings,” he added.

Firefighters are working hard to protect expensive homes located in the seaside area of ​​Orange County.

The luxurious area, located 55 miles from Hollywood, is known for its cliffs, bays, and picturesque seven-mile coastline. Stars such as Rock Hudson, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Rudolph Valentino and Bette Davis once lived here.

According to Zillow, the average home in Laguna Beach is valued at $2,908,275.

Mid-to-high 80s are expected in the Los Angeles area for the rest of the week, just in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood this Sunday, according to NBC News.

The NWS issued a heat alert through Sunday afternoon, warning that mid-to-top 80-degree weather could lead to a potential increase in heat-related illnesses.

The NWS issued a heat alert through Sunday afternoon, warning that mid-to-top 80-degree weather could lead to a potential increase in heat-related illness.

Orange Count Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said the plan is to use air tankers to pre-treat the ridge line between the north end of Emerald Bay and Newport Beach with fire retardant to contain the ridge fire.

Orange Count Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said the plan is to use air tankers to pre-treat the ridge line between the north end of Emerald Bay and Newport Beach with fire retardant to contain the ridge fire.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard told NBC News that 80-degree weather is 20 degrees above normal.

NWS Los Angeles has warned that high temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses in homeless people, outdoor workers and infants.

The heatwave is the result of a high-pressure system that has lingered over the west coast since early February. This pattern of ridges causes strong Santa Ana winds, which are known for bringing hot air into Los Angeles and surrounding areas from nearby desert regions, CNN reports.

This heat, combined with isolated winds of up to 60 mph, are ideal conditions for wildfires to start in the area.

“Not only do we have dry weather, we have dry vegetation, we haven’t had a lot of rain at all in the last couple of weeks… And then you combine that with gusty winds and then this fire just sort of grew, so fast. And then we’re dealing with a lot of those winds right now, and it’s warm right now,” CBS2 meteorologist Amber Lee said.

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