A wind- and terrain-driven fire chewed through brush in Aliso Wood Canyon between Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach Wednesday, with the flames slowly advancing toward high-dollar hillside estates overlooking the ocean.
The fire was reported at 2:44 p.m., Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Sean Doran said.
The fire was estimated to be about three acres as of 3:30 p.m., Doran said.
But the flames appeared to spread quickly as they tore through thick brush on the hillside, aided by ocean winds. The fire pushed its way uphill, advancing on Aliso Summit Trail and the neighboring multimillion-dollar estates.
According to reports from the scene, some residents were being evacuated, even as fixed-wing planes dropped fire retardant on the hillside in hopes of slowing the advance of the flames. No structures were immediately damaged, but smoke billowed over homes atop the hill, warning of the proximity of the flames.
Several water-dropping helicopters were also being employed in the firefight.