Residents in the Laguna Beach area were woken up to evacuation orders early Thursday morning after a brush fire erupted and began threatening homes.
The blaze, dubbed the Emerald Fire, was reported just after 4 a.m. near the Emerald Bay community and prompted immediate evacuation orders. The fire had consumed around 145 acres, an estimate that was downgraded from 150 acres.
Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Thursday afternoon as the fire was 20% contained, but voluntary evacuation warnings remained in place.
Voluntary evacuation warnings:
- North Laguna Beach from Crescent Bay to Broadway.
Evacuation centers were set up at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center and at the Los Olivos Community Center in Irvine.
- PCH is closed in both directions, with the northbound side closed at Broadway and southbound closed at El Morro Bay.
Evacuees were being told to head south on PCH to leave the area.
All Laguna Beach School District schools are closed Thursday.