Santiago Canyon College Reopens After Canyon Fire Evacuation Lifted

After three days of closure from a raging brushfire, Santiago Canyon College will resume normal operations Thursday, Oct. 12, officials said.

Santiago Canyon closed Monday afternoon, as towers of smoke from the rapidly moving Canyon Fire #2 billowed over the campus. The Rancho Santiago Community College District sent out multiple emergency response alerts Monday, announcing the closure of SCC and, later, Santa Ana College, where night classes were canceled.  Santa Ana College and other RSCCD campuses and centers re-opened Tuesday.

SCC, originally within a major evacuation area, is re-opening after road closures nearby campus were lifted Wednesday morning by the Anaheim Fire Department. Open areas and park land near campus burned to the ground. Evacuations and road closures are lifted in all areas, except for a fire-related road closure on Santa Ana Canyon Road from Woodcreek to Gypsum Canyon.

Canyon Fire #2 burned about 8,000 acres, destroying 15 structures and damaging about a dozen more, fire officials said. Fire containment is now at 45 percent, having risen from 25 percent Tuesday morning. Full containment is expected by Saturday.

Canyon Fire #2 began Monday at about 9:20 a.m. near the 91 Freeway and the 241 Toll Road, where it spread into the Anaheim Hills, East Orange and Tustin, burning through both Irvine and Peter’s Canyon regional parks.

Over 1,500 fire personnel were on the field battling the fire, supported by fire engines, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. It is the second major fire to occur in the Anaheim area, as the first Canyon Fire torched the Anaheim-Corona region and forced evacuations late September.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

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Anaheim Fire encourages those returning to their homes to drive slowly, steer clear for emergency crews and remain aware of fire conditions and hazards as a result of fire damage.


Fire trucks line the streets near SCC Monday afternoon. / Tim Bravo / el Don