Crews save homes from blaze in Southern California canyons

Fire Forces Lane Closures on 91 Freeway

Captain Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority says crews have been working through the night to protect homes, but he told KPCC media partner NBC 4 that weather conditions could make their work more hard.

The last update from the Corona Fire Department Monday evening stated the fire had scorched roughly 2,000 acres with just 5 percent containment.

Los Angeles reported some 300 firefighters from six different agencies worked long overnight hours to try and contain what's now being called the Canyon Fire. At least 500 homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders but authorities were hopeful some residents would be allowed to return later in the day.

By 11 p.m. Monday, about 40 residents had gathered at an evacuation center opened at Corona High School.

The blaze - what sparked it was not immediately determined - prompted evacuations in Corona in Riverside County.

Hurricane Maria headed for Puerto Rico after hitting Dominica
The Prime Minister said with recovery now underway, he had declared a state of emergency and a curfew from 4 p.m.to 8 a.m. daily. That figure, the Prime Minister fears, will rise as he wades his way into the rural communities today, Wednesday.

Jeff Peterson of Corona arrived at his home of 17 years about two hours after the fire had been burning.

As of the middle of the afternoon, OCFA PIO was reporting that about a hundred firefighters were at the scene, with three helicopters and a fixed wing making drops.

Later, the officials said the Dominguez Ranch neighborhood was being evacuated, along with homes south of Green River Road from the 91 to Trudy Lane at the Orchard Glen development. Officials announced that four schools - Cesar Chavez Academy and Adams, Coronita and Prado View elementary schools - will be closed Tuesday, citing poor air quality, active evacuations and road closures.

Crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway. Closed roads caused halted traffic in the area. "But we're asking the public, if possible, to avoid the eastbound 91", which was still reported to be congested early today.

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