Firefighters remained until nightfall on the scene of a 20-acre brush fire in Laguna Canyon, which was quickly contained by a squadron of firefighters and fire-suppression equipment early Monday, Sept. 12.
No structures were threatened and no one was injured, said Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Larry Kurtz. And investigators are trying to determine its cause as there were several start points, said Laguna Beach fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse, speculating that a car’s catalytic converter may have sent out sparks.
Two retardant-dropping air tankers, three water-carrying helicopters, two bulldozers and 100 firefighters achieved 100 percent containment of the fire within a few hours, Kurtz said
“We attack them with heavy numbers hard and early,” said Kurtz, adding that deploying resources in the first hour will determine whether a blaze lasts three hours or three days.
Engines from Laguna Beach, Anaheim and Brea responded alongside county firefighters, Kurtz said.
State Highway 133 was briefly closed in both directions, but reopened by midday.
The grass fire was reported at 9:04 a.m. on the north side of the Nix Nature Center in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, said LaTendresse. Five of the closest engines deployed and called for more resources as the fire moved towards the hills, he said. High-powered Edison lines were threatened by the flames and their presence hindered aircraft fighting the blaze, he said. “Firefighters were able to pinch it off with a ‘dozer,” LaTendresse said.
The fire’s size doubled from the original estimate, he said.