The Fire Department put out a trash truck fire near the entrance to Laguna Beach early Wednesday morning.
The Fire Department got the call at 7:25 a.m. when the truck's driver noticed smoke billowing out of his truck on Laguna Canyon Road, Division Chief Dan Stefano said.
The driver, who wasn't injured, pulled into a parking lot at Broadway and Forest Avenue, close to a fire station.
Firefighters moved the truck away from the building, traffic and people and then the driver pulled the emergency release, dropping the trash, which allowed firefighters to extinguish the fire.
The interior of the truck got so hot the exterior paint began to blister, Stefano said.
The bulk of the fire was put out within minutes.
The damages are estimated at $20,000, according to the Fire Department, but they have not confirmed that number.
Waste Management took the rubbish away in two trailers with the Public Works Department's help.
Stefano said trash truck fires aren't uncommon and are usually caused by people putting things in the trash that aren't completely "out" such as cigarettes, debris or something that was in a fireplace.
The items get compacted, start to smolder and can ignite combustibles, Stefano said.