Canyon 2 fire in Orange Co. 25% contained

Brush fire erupts near Santa Ana Canyon Road in Anaheim

The fast-moving vegetation fire, which has been dubbed the Canyon Fire 2, prompted 1,000 evacuations for homes in Anaheim Hills, Orange, Orange Park Acres and Tustin and triggered freeway closures in the area.

This year's extremely wet winter raising the soil moisture content of open areas to kick-off a massive spring bloom has created the ideal combination of scrub brush, grasses, and wildflowers to fuel a firestorm.

More favorable weather conditions have recently helped firefighters slow the blaze, which began about 9:45 a.m. Monday along State Route 91 in the area of Coal Canyon. What had been a lovely open-area green belt in the Spring, has turned to turn to the ideal brown kindling for a blaze.

They also reported 24 structures destroyed.

Two firefighters suffered a minor smoke-inhalation injuries battling the blaze.

CalFire has the premier firefighting aviation program has a fleet of over 50 fixed wing and rotary wing, making it the largest department owned fleet of aerial firefighting equipment in the world.

Katella High School in Anaheim and El Modena High School in Orange were open overnight to assist evacuees.

Three elementary schools - Running Springs, Anaheim Hills and Canyon Rim - in the Orange Unified School District were evacuated Monday, with students bused to Canyon High School. The number may increase as the fire continues spreading and as assessments continue. The northbound 261 tollway was also closed at the 241, he added.

Smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles in all directions, prompting warnings from health officials for people to remain indoors.

Chapman University in Orange was closed Monday and Tuesday due to smoky air from the blaze, but classes are scheduled to resume today. For Orange, it will be in Orange Park Acres, Santiago Canyon Road East of Cannon.

Late Monday morning, the department's spokesman said the fire had jumped a toll road, which led to it threatening approximately 1,000 homes in Anaheim Hills.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed the fire burning east of the 241 Toll Road and south of 91 Freeway Tuesday morning.

A non-emergency information hotline was set up in Orange at (714) 744-7550.

In Orange, an evacuation center was established at El Modena High School, 3920 E. Spring St.

Santiago Canyon, which turns into Chapman Avenue, is closed at the 241, cutting off traffic northbound from Santiago Canyon to Jamboree, Olivera said.

The Village at Orange mall, 1500 E. Village Way, was made available as a staging area for residents unable to reach their homes due to the fire, although the mall was not designated an evacuation center.

No evacuations were in place for the City of Irvine.

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