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Drones hunting down hot spots of Coastal fire that ravaged Laguna Niguel neighborhood

The Coastal fire remained at 200 acres and 40% containment overnight as firefighters used drones with thermal imaging to seek out hot spots to prevent portions of the fire from igniting again, authorities said.

Then, firefighters would go to the hot spot and douse it.

Others continued to assess the damage of surviving homes to ensure they were safe in the Coronado Pointe neighborhood, said Capt. Thanh Nguyen of the Orange County Fire Authority. Firefighters have allowed most of the evacuated residents to return home, but some 131 homes were still on evacuation orders as of Saturday morning, May 14.

About 900 homes had been evacuated for the fire that has destroyed 20 homes and damaged another 11.

“The emphasis today is to continue to seek out hot spots and mitigate any hazards in order to open up areas,” Nguyen said.

The wind-driven fire originated in Aliso and Wood Canyon about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and swelled to 200 acres that day.

In recent days, the percentage of containment has swelled. That figure is the amount of the fire’s perimeter that has been halted, by firefighters’ work or by obstacles such as a body of water.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Southern Cal Edison, Wednesday night, sent out a report indicating circuit activity in the area at the time the fire sparked, but the agency has declined to elaborate, and it is unclear if that had any affect on the initial ignition.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Source: Orange County Register

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