Brushfire spreading in S. California prompts evacuations

As fires ravage Northern California’s Napa Valley, a rapidly moving brushfire has scorched several structures and prompted the evacuation of 1,000 homes in Southern California's Anaheim Hills. The blaze has been dubbed Canyon Fire number 2.

Canyon Fire number 2 was first reported before 10 am PST Monday near the California State Route 91 freeway and Gypsum Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills in Orange County. The fast-moving blaze engulfed approximately 500 acres of land by 12:30pm, according to Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Fire Department, the Los Angeles Times reported.

As of 3pm, the fire had grown to the size of approximately 2,500 acres, Wyatt said. He also stated that at least six structures had been damaged, or lost in the area. The blaze had zero percent containment at this time, as 200 fire personnel fought the fast moving flames earlier in the day, KABC reported.

Winds related to the fire are said to be moving at 38 mph, with gusts reaching up to 62 mph. One unnamed firefighter fighting the blaze was injured due to smoke inhalation, and was airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Anaheim, according to Wyatt, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“With the wind-driven event, this fire can change behavior very rapidly,” Wyatt said at a news briefing.

Late Monday morning, the department’s spokesman said the fire had jumped a toll road, which led to it threatening approximately 1,000 homes in Anaheim Hills.

“You need to be prepared to evacuate and now is the time to do so,” Wyatt said in a video, which was posted to the fire department’s Facebook page. “Take everything that you can that will sustain you for the next couple of days.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known, however, Wyatt said the blaze started in the same area as the first Canyon Fire at the Anaheim-Corona border last month.

Three parks in the region, including Irvine, Santiago Oaks and Yorba, were all closed Monday due to smoke and fire covering the area.

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A shelter has been set up for evacuees at the East Anaheim Community Center.

The original Canyon Fire burned around the length of 2,600 acres.

Also Monday, more than 14 quick-moving wildfires spread through Northern California, while destroying a minimum of 1,500 homes and commercial buildings in the region. The fires have killed at least 10 people, and forced thousands to flee the area, authorities said, according to the Los Angeles Times.