ANAHEIM (CNS) - The 9,217-acre Canyon Fire 2 in the Anaheim Hills was 65 percent contained today, but fire commanders say full containment, which had been expected Saturday, is now anticipated Tuesday.
The 241 toll road, which had been closed in both directions between the 91 Freeway and Santiago Canyon Road, was reopened in the southerly direction this morning, but the northbound closure remained in effect.
Strides were made in the earlier part of the weeklong battle, allowing for authorities to lift all evacuation orders by 5 p.m. Wednesday, and several local schools and colleges that closed earlier in the week were open for business Thursday.
Minimal fire behavior was observed Thursday during the day and firefighters were expected to continue to build and improve containment lines today in anticipation of warmer and drier conditions this weekend, according to Mike Yeun of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Santa Ana Canyon Road between Woodcrest and Gypsum Canyon roads in Anaheim remains closed.
The flames damaged electrical cables, signs, guardrails, fences and traffic control devices, according to Lisa Telles of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which manages toll roads in Orange County.
Since breaking out Monday, the fire has destroyed 25 structures and damaged 48 more while threatening some 3,500 others, according to the latest update from the Orange County Fire Authority. More than 1,400 firefighters and other responders from multiple agencies were working on the blaze.
Three minor injuries have been reported in the fire, including two firefighters who suffered minor smoke inhalation.
On Thursday, the city of Anaheim announced that an assistance center would open at 9 a.m. today for people whose homes were lost or damaged in the fire. It will be located at the East Anaheim Gymnasium, 8165 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi cautioned Wednesday that the exact figures on the number of structures destroyed and damaged were ``fluctuating,'' and said only about 25 percent of possibly affected structures had been inspected so far.
Concialdi also urged residents to drive carefully in the affected areas.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It erupted Monday about a mile from the area scorched by the recent Canyon Fire, which blackened more than 2,600 acres and took more than a week to contain. The new fire initially broke out near the Riverside (91) Freeway east of Gypsum Canyon Road, near the Coal Canyon flashpoint of September's Canyon Fire, according to the OCFA.
The House of Representatives approved funding Thursday for wildfire efforts in California, according to Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine.
The bill approved $576.5 million for firefighting efforts in the state, her office said.
``This week, the community of Anaheim Hills was devastated by the quick- moving Canyon Fire 2,'' Walters said. ``Although 23 structures were destroyed and dozens more damaged, I am thankful no lives were lost in this disaster. Unfortunately, the fires in Northern California are expected to worsen in the coming days. These fires have already claimed numerous lives, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and have caused unimaginable pain and suffering.''