ANAHEIM, California - The hills along the 91 freeway in the Anaheim Hills area now look like a barren, burnt wasteland as the massive Canyon 2 fire continues to burn in Southern California.
Now on its third day, the blaze has scorched 8,000 acres and is at 45 percent containment as of Wednesday morning, according to authorities.
Cooler overnight temperatures and the return of the marine layer has helped the over 1,600 firefighters from all over California fight the blaze, which has destroyed 15 structures, damaged 12 and has injured three people.
Orange County fire officials say most evacuation orders have been lifted and all residents should be able to return to their homes by late Wednesday.
The effects of the fire can be felt by residents all over Orange County, including Filipino-American business owners just down the hill from the fire line.
“Malapit po ang bahay namin sa Disneyland, sa Katella and Brookhurst, pagdating ko po sa bahay kagabi, nakita ko po 'yung maraming ashfall at leaves na marami,” said Norma Seriano.
“'Yung ibang mga customer nandito sila, kumain sa amin, sila ninenerbiyos, nanginginig, dahil sila mismo ang nasunugan ng bahay,” she said.
Roman Calica, another business owner, encountered one customer whose house was at risk of being engulfed by the blaze.
“One of my customers said that the fire was just behind their house, so they are really scared and panicking,” said Calica.
“Basta 'yung mga important documents lang na kailangan natin, kailangan naka-safety 'yun para in case na may sunog, madali natin makukuha at maililigtas," he said.
Schools in the immediate area of the fire remain closed due to possible fire danger and the extremely poor air quality.
The fire was first reported Monday morning near the 91 Freeway and Coal Canyon. The 241 toll road connecting the 91 freeway to the 261 remains closed. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Full containment is expected by Saturday.
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