Published On: Fri, May 13th, 2022

Wildfire still raging through upscale Southern California neighborhood

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Easing winds could help Southern California firefighters on Friday in their ongoing battle against stubborn flames that continued to ravage an upscale, oceanside community.

The Coastal Fire, burning in and around Laguna Niguel, was 15 percent contained by Friday morning, after having charred at least 200 acres, destroyed 20 homes and damaged 11 more, the Orange County Fire Authority reported.

About 550 firefighters are battling the blaze, according to the OCFA. Two firefighters were injured but have been released from the hospital.

Local winds across Orange County were not expected to reach more than 10 mph on Friday, down from peak gusts of 16 mph on Thursday and 30 mph on Wednesday afternoon when the wildfire ignited.

Laguna Niguel resident Keith Morey lost his five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom home but said he won’t dwell on the destruction.

“You think I should be devastated,” he told NBC Los Angeles. “I just move forward. Lingering on the past doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Sassan Darian also lost his home but insisted that walls, floors and roofs can be rebuilt.

“It looks like it’s completely demolished,” Darian said. “It might look like a horror zone. It might look like a movie, but everyone will be able to repair and replace.”

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