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Wildfire threatens homes, prompts evacuations in southern California

Wildfire threatens homes, prompts evacuations in southern California

At least 500 homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders but authorities were hopeful some residents would be allowed to return.

The canyon fire began close to Freeway 91 just after 1pm on Monday and has now spread to 2,000 acres, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

The Canyon Fire was described as a "vegetation fire" by the Orange County Fire Authority. By 2 p.m., 25 to 30 acres had burned in what was being called the Canyon Fire.

Jeff Peterson, a resident of Corona arrived at his residence about two hours after the blaze started in the afternoon. It was 5 percent contained as of early Tuesday morning, according to fire officials, who said the cause of the fire was unknown.

Evacuations were in place for about 300 homes in the Dominguez Ranch area, with residents invited to take shelter at Corona High School.

He said the flames cleared much of the fuel that endangered homes, but that fire fighters will be fighting the blaze amid a 90-degree heat, gusty wind and dry air.

About 300 firefighters from the Anaheim, Corona, and Los Angeles County fire departments, as well as the OCFA, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire were battling the blaze.

Crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway. As he reached his home, he said the wind appeared to blow away from his house as he watched it with one of his neighbors. "We just looked at each other and said, 'it's time to go get the valuables, '" Peterson said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Aircraft have dropped fire retardant to stop the flames from burning further uphill.

But with some lanes closed, traffic was backed up for several miles and delays continued through the morning commute.

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

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