Aerial Photo of Laguna Niguel Fire Shows Scale of Orange County Blaze

More photos have emerged of the scale of the blaze that has been engulfing Laguna Niguel, California, since Wednesday.

The Orange County Fire Authority has also called for some areas to be evacuated to prevent the loss of life.

One aerial photo, taken by ABC7's Chris Cristi, showed the devastation caused by the fire and its scale.

"The community of Laguna Niguel, CA is coping with the fury of Mother Nature tonight as firefighters continue to battle the 200-acre #Coastalfire into the night, Cristi tweeted.

California Wildfires
A firefighter works to put out a structure burning during a wildfire Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, CA. Marcio J. Sanchez/AP

The ABC7 Eyewitness News Twitter page also shared Cristi's photo and added that 20 structures in Laguna Niguel have been destroyed as a result of the fire spreading quickly amid strong winds.

Regarding evacuating the areas, the Orange County Sheriff's Department posted a statement on its website.

"The area north of the intersection of Flying Cloud Drive Pacific Island Drive to the intersection of Highlands Avenue and Pacific Island Drive is under Mandatory Evacuation Order,"

"The area south of Flying Cloud Drive and Pacific Island Drive to the intersection of Pacific Island Drive and Crown Valley Parkway is under a Voluntary Evacuation Warning."

In a tweet on its Twitter page, they added that firefighters had worked through the night in the canyon and in neighborhoods to control the fire.

They also said the acreage estimate is now 199 acres and said more information will be available at the news conference scheduled for 8:30 a.m. local time at Laguna Niguel Regional Park at 28241 La Paz Road.

Other videos shared on social media of the fire have also shown smoke billowing out of several homes.

As well warning against the dangers of the blaze, the fire authority warned of smoke inhalation and other health risks.

"Smoke from the Coastal Fire may pose a health danger to some Orange County residents, especially those in certain high-risk groups. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a Smoke Advisory for Orange County in the Saddleback Valley, Central Coastal area, and Capistrano Valley where monitors currently report an Air Quality Index of good to moderate levels," the statement said.

"Everyone should take precautions to stay cool and drink plenty of water to reduce health risks related to the heat and wildfire smoke," said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer.

Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy told KABC that homes that had been touched by the fire were likely destroyed beyond repair.

"It's all about defending the homes that have not already burned," Fennessy told the station from the scene of the fire. "The firefighters behind me are really putting on an aggressive fight."

In recent years, California has seen some of the worst wildfires in its recorded history. What is deemed 'fire season' in the state, during the hot summer months, has been getting longer. Experts have put this down to a changing climate causing droughts and intense heat.

In 2020, 58,950 wildfires burned through 10.1 million acres of land. This was the second-largest acreage in a year since 1960.

Wildfire expert Craig Clements told ABC News in March that most big fires usually start in the grass. Grass fuels fire very easily, he told the news outlet and can catch on nearby shrubs, gradually reaching forests.

Newsweek has contacted the Orange County Fire Authority for comment.