Crews fight back flames within feet of California homes

CBS Los Angeles reports that the Canyon Fire started around 1 p.m. on the eastbound side of the 91 in the west Corona area before spreading to the Coal Canyon Trail, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.

A large wildfire that ripped through a canyon in Southern California on Monday has forced the evacuation of as many as 1,500 residents living around the Santa Ana Mountains near Anaheim.

Firefighters battle to save homes as Canyon fire continues to burn in 4200 block of San Ramon Drive in Corona, Calif., Monday, Sept.25, 2017. It was just 5 percent contained. At least 500 homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders but authorities were hopeful some residents would be allowed to return later in the day.

Santa Ana winds blowing 20 to 25 miles per hour were fanning the flames, according to reports from the scene.

Jeff Peterson of Corona arrived at his home of 17 years about two hours after the fire had been burning.

As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, approximately 45 evacuees checked-in at an evacuation shelter set up in the gymnasium of Corona High School.

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Overnight, five helicopters with night-vision and three planes tried combating the wildfire from above.

Nine helicopters and nine fixed-wing aircraft along with 350 firefighters are now battling the flames.

It's still not clear what sparked the blaze.

Crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway. Officials announced that four schools - Cesar Chavez Academy and Adams, Coronita and Prado View elementary schools - will be closed Tuesday, citing poor air quality, active evacuations and road closures.

Only the far right lane was closed, but traffic had backed up to the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway, said CHP Officer Florentino Olivera. "But we're asking the public, if possible, to avoid the eastbound 91".

  • Sonia Alvarado