Firefighters reach 25% containment on Coastal Fire

A Cal Fire Hawk helicopter refills from Laguna Beach’s HeloPod tank system on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Bill Ward

Firefighters accomplished 25% containment on the Coastal Fire, keeping the blaze at 200 acres Friday morning, fire officials said.

The Orange County Fire Authority has found 20 homes destroyed and 11 more damaged. Capt. Shane Sherwood had no comment Thursday on the cause as investigators were still probing the initial burn area.

Southern California Edison notified the California Public Utilities Commission that its grid experienced “circuit activity” in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, according to an email obtained by Los Angeles Times.

Fire agencies from Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego counties have assisted with the Coastal Fire, which started Wednesday afternoon. There were 563 firefighters assigned to the incident to douse hot spots and continue mop-up work by hand. These efforts are expected to continue throughout the weekend.

“The City of Laguna Beach remains ready to respond if the fire situation changes,” city spokesperson Cassie Walder said.

Two firefighters endured minor injuries while working in the blaze and both had been released after treatment at a local hospital, fire officials said. The injured firefighters are not with the Laguna Beach Fire Department, Walder said.

Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis and Police Chief Jeff Calvert toured a devastated Laguna Niguel neighborhood with senior fire officials on Friday. Dupuis and Calvert declined to comment for this story.

Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park remained closed including all trailheads from Laguna Beach on Friday. Residents and visitors are asked to remain off the fire road near Top of the World because helicopters are still refilling from the HeloPod water tank system.

There will be no additional press conferences on this incident, an OCFA spokesperson said.

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