Mansions Burn in California as Coastal Wildfire Spreads

Mansions Burn in California as Coastal Wildfire Spreads

The town of Laguna Niguel was in the path of a blaze that has destroyed over 30 homes this week.

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Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames in Laguna Niguel, California
Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames in Laguna Niguel, California
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)

A fire in Laguna Niguel, California, has burned through 200 acres and several multimillion-dollar homes since it started on May 11. The cause of the Coastal Fire, which is burning just a few miles southeast of Laguna Beach, has yet to be determined.

According to a May 13 update from the Orange County Fire Authority on Twitter, 31 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and the fire was 15% contained. CNN reports that over 900 homes were under evacuation orders, citing the Orange County Fire Authority Assistant Chief of Field Operations TJ McGovern.

California is entering its wildfire season on the heels of an incredibly dry start to the year, worrying officials, as dry conditions coupled with heatwaves can help wildfires spread more easily. Research suggests that wildfire seasons around the world are likely expanding under climate change, as dry conditions persist for longer each year and droughts worsen. Eight of the 10 largest wildfires in California’s history have all occurred within the past five years.

Over 500 firefighters are battling the blaze, per the Orange County Fire Authority. The Laguna Niguel fire is occurring as multiple wildfires—like the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fire—engulf the American Southwest.

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A Burning Home

A Burning Home

A structure burns during a wildfire Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
A structure burns during a wildfire Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)
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Battling the Blaze

Battling the Blaze

Firefighters work to put out a structure burning during a wildfire Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Firefighters work to put out a structure burning during a wildfire Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)
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Fire in the Canyon

Fire in the Canyon

Firefighters fight hotspots in a burned canyon behind homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Firefighters fight hotspots in a burned canyon behind homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty Images)
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Firefighter at Work

Firefighter at Work

A firefighter uses a hose on one of the homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
A firefighter uses a hose on one of the homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty Images)
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Saving What They Can

Saving What They Can

Lynn Morey stands in front of her burned home holding a portrait of her and her husband, Keith Morey, recovered by a firefighter after homes were destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Lynn Morey stands in front of her burned home holding a portrait of her and her husband, Keith Morey, recovered by a firefighter after homes were destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP (Getty Images)
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A Charred Car

A Charred Car

A burned car is seen on May 12, 2022 in Laguna Niguel, California.
A burned car is seen on May 12, 2022 in Laguna Niguel, California.
Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)
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Putting Out the Hotspots

Putting Out the Hotspots

A firefighter uses a hose to fight hotspots at one of the homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
A firefighter uses a hose to fight hotspots at one of the homes destroyed by the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, May 12, 2022.
Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP (Getty Images)
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Help From Above

Help From Above

A plane drops fire retardant onto the Coastal Fire on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
A plane drops fire retardant onto the Coastal Fire on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)
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The Burn Scar

The Burn Scar

A California Dept. of Corrections fire crew stands on a ridge while fighting the Coastal Fire Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
A California Dept. of Corrections fire crew stands on a ridge while fighting the Coastal Fire Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)
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Witnessing the Aftermath

Witnessing the Aftermath

Firefighters and residents stand on a fire road where the Coastal Fire jumped and burned several homes Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Firefighters and residents stand on a fire road where the Coastal Fire jumped and burned several homes Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP)
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