Powerful winds pushed flames through Southern California canyons early Thursday as an out-of-control wildfire burned near homes and forced residents to flee.
The fire in Orange County's Silverado Canyon began late Wednesday as a house fire that quickly spread to tinder-dry brush as gusts topped 70 mph (113 kph). It exploded in size throughout the night and as the sun came up, an enormous plume of smoke was visible for miles. Firefighters struggled in steep terrain amid unpredictable Santa Ana winds that have raised fire danger for much of the region.
Evacuations were ordered for several canyon neighborhoods near the city of Lake Forest and residents of other nearby areas were told to be ready to get out. It was not immediately known how many people were affected or if any homes were damaged.
With files from the Associated Press
Thanh Nguyen, captain with the Orange County Fire Authority