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Vegetation Fire That Prompts Evacuation of Orange County Residents Downgraded to 120 Acres, No Longer Threatens Aliso Viejo: Authorities

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A wind-driven vegetation fire that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in Orange County has been downgraded to 120 acres and is no longer threatening Aliso Viejo, authorities said.

The fire was originally reported to have burned more than 250 acres but officials reported late Saturday the number was downgraded to 120 acres, according to the Los Angeles Times.

An aerial survey of the burn area was able to give firefighters a more accurate account of the acreage, the newspaper reported.

The mandatory evacuation orders for the so-called Aliso Fire were scheduled to be lifted at 9 p.m. in Aliso Viejo , according to a tweet from the city of Aliso Viejo.

But evacuation orders in Laguna Beach will continue "due to the threat" to the city, according to the Laguna Beach Police Department.

The so-called Aliso Fire had burned 200 acres and forced thousands of residents to evacuate on June 2, 2018, in Laguna Beach, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. (Credit: Laguna Beach Police Department Sgt. Jim Cota)

The so-called Aliso Fire forced thousands of residents to evacuate on June 2, 2018, in Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. (Credit: Laguna Beach Police Department Sgt. Jim Cota)

The fire was burning heavy brush below the Top of the World area and behind Soka University of America, the Orange County Fire Authority stated previously on Twitter.

There are more than 400 firefighters on scene and one sustained a mild leg injury, authorities stated. The fire was at 0 percent containment.

Evacuated neighborhoods in Laguna Beach were along Alta Laguna Boulevard and Park Avenue to Bern Drive and Temple Hills Drive to Dorn Court, the Laguna Beach police said in a statement.

There have been 1,500 people evacuated from the Top of the World and Old Top of the World neighborhoods in Laguna Beach, the Fire Authority said.

Roads will be closed and evacuations could continue into early Sunday morning as the firefight continues.

"These guys will be committed here all night tonight, all night tomorrow," said Capt. Tony Bommarito with the Orange County Fire Authority on Saturday. "We'll use our helicopters all night making water drops. And firefighters will be on scene most of the day tomorrow."

All animals were removed from the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter "just in case," wrote Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota on Twitter.

Just before 8 p.m., there were eight fire strike teams, six air tankers and four helicopters who had teamed up with Laguna Beach police officers and Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies to battle the blaze, Cota said.

Previously, there were mandatory evacuations of approximately 2,000 homes in the city of Aliso Viejo in the area of Wood Canyon and Pacific Park Drives to Wood Canyon and Laurel. An evacuation center was located at Aliso Niguel High School at 28000 Wolverine Way in Aliso Viejo, authorities said.

More than 275 firefighters were on scene early Saturday, as well as four helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft. Multiple engines were also in place for structure defense, according to Fire Authority tweets.

A care and reception center was opened at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third St. the Laguna Beach Police Department stated on Twitter.

Costa Mesa High School students were told at 6 p.m. via Twitter that their prom at Soka University had been postponed for week because of the fire and road closures.

No injuries have been reported.



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