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Wildfire Guts at Least 20 Homes in Affluent California Town

  • Edison detected activity on power line near start of blaze
  • Coastal Fire is one of three burning across California
Firefighters battle the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11.
Firefighters battle the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11.Photographer: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images
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A wind-driven wildfire destroyed 20 homes and forced about 900 residents to flee a wealthy town in California’s Orange County, laying bare how a historic drought has left the region under constant threat of blazes.

The fire had also damaged 11 homes and consumed 200 acres in Laguna Niguel, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, said Shane Sherwood, a division chief for the Orange County Fire Authority.