UPDATED: Sunday's Brush Fire Still Under Investigation

Work crews were observed Monday taking a close look at utility poles in the area, though other possible causes of the blaze are being explored as well.

UPDATED, TUESDAY, 1:30 A.M.: The cause of Sunday's four-acre brush fire in South Laguna is still under investigation by the Laguna Beach Fire Department, according to Captain Andrew Hill of the LBFD.

Reports of downed power lines in the area are being looked at, though other mitigating factors are being explored as well.

The fire was effectively extinguished Sunday evening around 5 p.m., and there were no overnight flare-ups. Monday afternoon, utility crews and firefighters were observed on the hill behind Ruby's Diner where the fire occurred.

Southern California Edison restored power to the Laguna Terrace Mobile Home Park on the south side of the burn area at approximately 2 a.m. Monday using emergency generators, according to an LBFD news release.

St. Catherine’s School was open for normal school operations Monday, as was Ruby’s.


UPDATED, MONDAY, 3:20 A.M.: Firefighters from Laguna Beach and the Orange County Fire Authority were watching for hot spots into Sunday evening from a brush fire that burned about three acres near the Montage resort in Laguna Beach, and was 100 percent contained, a fire dispatcher said.

The fire was reported at 11:50 a.m. Sunday near Nyes Place and Coast Highway, said Lynnette Round of the Orange County Fire Authority.

A Laguna Beach police dispatcher said the blaze was believed to have started behind the Coast Highway Ruby's.

About 20 structures were threatened initially on Nyes Place, and voluntary evacuations took place via the city's reverse 911 system.

Some homeowners took to their rooftops in an effort to soak down their properties in case the flames crept too close.

An estimated 150 firefighters from Laguna Beach and the OCFA were assigned to the fire, Round said. A water-dropping helicopter was also engaged to battle the flames.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital for an unspecified injury.

Laguna Beach Patch will have updates on this story Monday.


UPDATE: Size of burn area updated at 1:23 p.m. More details added 1:41 p.m., 2:24 p.m. and 3:06 p.m.

A 5-acre brush fire forced the temporary closure of northbound Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach Sunday.

The closure began at Montage Drive but has since been reopened. Northbound traffic still narrows to one lane.

"It's almost contained," said Lynnette Round, a public information officer with the Orange County Fire Authority, which is assiting the Laguna Beach firefighters. "They're just putting out some hot spots.

About 155 firefighters total battled the small blaze, Round said. They set up their command center at Ruby's Diner.

The Orange County Fire Authority tweeted that the fire started at 30622 Coast Hwy. Officials estimate the burn area at 5 acres. 

Round said helicopters are assisting to extinguish the flames.

"They almost have a circle on it," she said.

Some structures off of Nyes Place were briefly threatened, Round added.

Residents who live in about 20 homes on Nyes Place received a reverse 9-1-1 call to voluntarily evacuate, Round said. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, she added.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital for an unspecified injury.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

Joanne Sutch September 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I live right below the fire on PCH and Cardinal. I would like to both praise and thank all of the firefighters, police and everyone else involved in putting this fire out. It was done so efficiently and professionally. I so appreciate all of the efforts made on our behalf!
April Josephson September 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Thanks to the emergency responders. My family lives nearby. It was too close for comfort. The response was swift and successful.
Gabi September 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Just moved to Laguna Beach 2 weeks ago and I live right up Nyes....watching those helicopters fly back and forth past my balcony......a bit nerve wracking.....thanks to all the firefighters who worked it all day long!!!!!!!
Rich Kane September 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Welcome to Laguna Beach, Gabi!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »