Firefighters Continue Battling Orange County Canyon Fire #2

Firefighters battling a blaze at Peters Canyon Regional Park / Timothy Bravo / el Don

 

Santiago Canyon College remained closed through Wednesday as a result of a blaze that began Monday morning and quickly ravaged brush from Anaheim Hills, Orange and Tustin.

While the SCC campus is safe from the fire, an emergency notice from the district states that all roads leading to the campus remain closed.  All other RSCCD campuses and centers, including Santa Ana College, opened for regular business Tuesday after closing Monday afternoon and cancelling night classes.

Firefighters are continuing to contain the firestorm, dubbed Canyon Fire #2, that torched eastern Orange County, forcing the evacuation of homes and schools in the area.

Fire officials said Tuesday morning that most of the fire’s westward movement was stopped, with about 25 percent of the fire contained as of noon. The fire is reported to have destroyed 24 structures, including multi-million dollar homes as well as structures at Irvine Regional Park and Peter’s Canyon Regional Park. The fire burned 7,500 acres in its first 24 hours according to Anaheim city officials.

As firefighters shift their focus towards the eastern front, officials hope to move evacuated residents back into their homes by tonight. Tuesday’s calmer and cooler winds will allow for better progress, officials said.

No new threats to Anaheim neighborhoods have been reported, though evacuations remain in place. Anaheim Police is also conducting escorts for people who need to enter evacuation areas for critical needs, including checking pets and getting medicine.

The brush fire began near the the 91 Freeway and 241 Toll Road around 9:20 a.m Monday, where it quickly spread into a firestorm driven by the dry Santa Ana winds.

By the evening, over 1,000 firefighters were on the ground containing the fire, supported by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

In response to the spreading fire, RSCCD issued an emergency notice declaring the SCC campus under evacuation. Night classes at Santa Ana College were later cancelled, with the campus closed at about 5 p.m.

El Modena High School and Katella High School opened its doors as a makeshift shelter Monday for affected individuals, while the Los Alamitos Race Course and Anaheim Equestrian Center Rancho Del Rio Stables remained available for horses.  El Modena will remain open as an evacuation center.

The cause for Canyon Fire #2 remains under investigation.

Canyon Fire #2 is the second major fire to occur in the same area within a month.

/ Timothy Bravo / el Don

/ Timothy Bravo / el Don

/ Timothy Bravo / el Don

/ Timothy Bravo / el Don

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