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Heavy smoke and ash from O.C. fire causes unhealthy air quality across region

Fire burns in the Anaheim Hills area Monday morning.
(Stuart Palley / For The Times)

The fire burning in the Anaheim Hills area was causing smoke to flow into Orange County, causing unhealthy air in some areas.

The skies turned dark and smoky across parts of Orange County, including around Disneyland, as the fire consumed roughly 2,000 acres and burned several hours. Ash and smoke have spread as far west as Long Beach, where officials urged residents to avoid outdoor activities and keep windows and doors shut.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an advisory about the air: “Smoke is currently heavy in the vicinity, with the fire fueled by strong Santa Ana winds. Winds will remain from the east today, bringing smoke into portions of Orange County. Air quality may reach Unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke.”

Canyon fire No. 2 broke out around 9:20 a.m. near the 91 Freeway and Gypsum Canyon Road, and quickly leaped the California 241 toll road, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Fire Department.

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As of 2 p.m., the fire had grown to roughly 2,000 acres, fire officials said. In a video posted to the Anaheim Fire Department’s Facebook page, Wyatt said he had received “unconfirmed reports” of one firefighter suffering a minor injury and five structures sustaining fire damage.

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At least 200 firefighters from multiple fire task forces are battling the blaze. Television footage showed several homes on fire early Monday afternoon.

Evacuations were ordered south of the 91 Freeway, west of the 241 toll road, north of Nohl Ranch Road and east of Serrano Avenue. The eastbound 91 Freeway was closed, with small spot fires reported along the roadway.

Several elementary schools in the area were evacuated as well, with students moved to Canyon High School. Several regional parks have also been closed and strong winds were pushing smoke into Orange and Santa Ana areas.


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