Fast-moving fire erupts in Anaheim Hills forcing evacuations

ANAHEIM (KUSI) — Amid dry and windy conditions that prompted fire warnings across Southern California, a brush fire erupted Monday alongside the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway near the 241 toll road in Anaheim Hills, forcing mandatory evacuations.

The fire, which broke out around 9:45 a.m., was burning about a mile of the area scorched by the recent Canyon Fire that blackened more than 2,600 acres and took more than a week to contain. 

The new blaze, dubbed Canyon Fire 2, started near the 91 Freeway and Gypsum Canyon Road, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.

The blaze was initially reported at 25 acres, but quickly exploded in size – so quickly that fire officials could not estimate its size by midday. 

San Miguel Fire and Rescue and Heartland Fire and Rescue firefighters, who were on their way Monday to Northern California — where at least 14 fires were burning — were instead diverted to Anaheim Hills, according to San Miguel Fire District spokesperson Steve Moran.

With winds whipping at about 25 mph and pushing the fire west, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents south of the 91 Freeway and west of the 241 toll road. The evacuation area was repeatedly expanded, reaching west toward Nohl Ranch and Canyon Rim roads. 

Evacuations were also ordered in the east end of Orange. 

Evacuated residents were directed to the Downtown Anaheim Community Center, 250 E. Center St., or the Downtown Anaheim Youth Center, 225 S. Philadelphia. An evacuation center for horses was established on the west end of Yorba Regional Park, which was closed to the public along with Irvine and Santiago Oaks regional parks "as a precaution due to the proximity of the fire," said Marisa O’Neil of OC Parks.

All eastbound lanes of the 91 Freeway were closed in the area, along with both sides of the 241 Freeway south of the 91 Freeway. 

Categories: Local San Diego News