Sept. 26 (UPI) — Authorities said more than a thousand people have been forced to evacuate their homes to escape a fast-moving Canyon Fire south of Los Angeles.
An evacuation order was issued for over 300 homes in a Corona, Calif., neighborhood on Monday as families headed out of the fire’s way. Police rode through neighborhoods, the air heavy with smoke, with loudspeakers telling residents to “evacuate now.”
About 1,500 Corona residents were forced to evacuate, authorities said.
Four schools in the area closed Tuesday due to evacuations, poor air quality, and road closures stemming from the blaze.
The Canyon Fire, which began at California Highway 91 along near the Orange-Riverside county line, started on Monday. It grew to more than 2,000 acres by 11 p.m., destroying one structure and a commercial truck.
The fire began to rapidly grow, going from 550 acres to around 1,500 in just a couple of hours. Late Monday night, the fire was only 5 percent contained.
Firefighters said they changed their tactics several times to accommodate changing wind directions. Los Angeles sent a night-flying Firehawk helicopter to drop water through the night.
“I never thought that we’d see it. It was unreal, watching this happen,” a resident told the Orange County Register. “The flames made so much noise, they sounded like jet engines.”
No injuries have so far been reported, and the cause is under investigation.