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Part of 73 toll road closed because of flames

Ground and air crews battled three small fires along the 73 toll road in Laguna Beach that temporarily shut down both directions of the roadway on Wednesday, June 16.

The fires initially burned through brush adjacent to the southbound lanes, just west of Highway 133, Orange County Fire Authority officials said at 3:35 p.m.

Motorists reported flames beginning at 3 p.m., according to California Highway Patrol logs.

Traffic was shuttered in both directions between Newport Coast Drive and El Toro Road, a CHP dispatcher said. The flames also led to the closure of nearby Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

One fire briefly crossed over the toll road, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Sean Doran said.

But firefighters – using hoses, bulldozers and aircraft – quickly snuffed out the patch of flames. Firefighters were able to focus on the remaining fires chewing through vegetation to the south side.

Meteorologists have warned of extreme heat and low humidity potentially elevating the risk of wildfire this week.

What prompted the fires was under investigation.

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

Source: Orange County Register

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