A helicopter takes part in the fight against the wildfire near Irvine, California, the United States, on Dec. 3, 2020. A wind-driven wildfire occurred near Irvine, a city with a significant Chinese-American population, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes on Thursday. (Photo by Zeng Hui/Xinhua)
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- A wind-driven wildfire occurred near Irvine, a city with a significant Chinese-American population, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes on Thursday.
The fire, dubbed Bond Fire, started at around 10:15 p.m. local time Wednesday at a house, and then continued to grow throughout the night as gusty Santa Ana winds spread the flames. By Thursday morning, it had exploded to about 3,650 acres (14.8 square km) with zero containment.
Helped by fire helicopters and a helitanker, over 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, but their efforts were hampered by the strong wind, sweeping down from the interior with sustained speeds up to 35 mph and gusts of 50 to 70 mph according to the National Weather Service.
The strongest winds were forecast to blow through Thursday and could last into Saturday. Utilities in the populous region began cutting power Wednesday to customers as a precaution to prevent more wildfires.
Southern California Edison had cut power to almost 35,000 customers by early Thursday morning and was considering de-energizing lines serving a total of about 260,000 customers in seven counties.
Apart from the original building that ignited the fire, no other structure has been damaged or destroyed while no injuries to firefighters or civilians have been reported.