Efforts Continue to Contain Aliso Fire, Structures No Longer Threatened


ALISO VIEJO (CNS) - About 400 firefighters worked today to clear vegetation around a fire that consumed about 150 acres of brushy hillsides in a canyon between Aliso Viejo and Laguna Beach over the weekend, authorities said.

The Aliso fire was 40 percent contained by a ring of cleared vegetation late Sunday and the last evacuation orders were lifted, officials said.

About 400 firefighters continued to work today to clear vegetation and put out hot spots, and investigators trying to determine the cause of the fire were asking for the public to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) if they can provide information.

The last evacuees from Laguna Beach's Top Of The World neighborhood about two miles west of the fire lines were allowed to return home Sunday, Laguna Beach police said.

No structures were damaged and none were threatened as of Sunday night, officials said.

The fire was reported at 1:07 p.m. Saturday in Wood Canyon behind Soka University of America, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said. The fire threatened structures at Soka University of America and the Top of the World neighborhood of Laguna Beach.

Six air tankers and four helicopters made drops of water and fire retardant along the perimeter of the fire late Saturday afternoon, Bommarito said. Two helicopters remained battling the flames after sunset Saturday, as air support was crucial to keeping the fire at bay.

Three injuries were reported, including a firefighter who suffered a minor leg injury Saturday, the OCFA said.

Mandatory evacuations began at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Aliso Viejo affecting about 2,000 homes in the area of Wood Canyon and Pacific Park drives, city officials said. Those evacuations were lifted at 9 p.m. Saturday after the fire no longer threatened the homes.

About 1,500 residents were evacuated from Top of the World and the Old Top of the World neighborhoods above Laguna Beach Saturday, police said.

Monday's classes at Top of the World Elementary school were canceled, authorities said.

Costa Mesa High School's prom scheduled for Saturday night at Soka University was postponed a week, according to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.


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