Southern California wildfire threat continues into weekend

Emerald Fire continues to burn in Laguna Beach

Southern California faced two quick-moving brush fires in 24 hours fueled by powerful Santa Ana winds sending smoke into neighborhoods as the firefight continues into the weekend.

The Emerald Fire in Laguna Beach continues burning for the second day since it started near the Pacific Coast Highway early Thursday morning.

Evacuation orders were lifted Thursday afternoon in parts of Laguna Beach, California after the brush fire broke out and quickly spread due to strong Santa Ana winds in the area.

According to the city of Laguna Beach, no homes have been destroyed in the fire. Orange County Fire Authority has the blaze 60% contained at 154 acres as of Friday afternoon.

Heat Advisories posted in Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, through Super Bowl Sunday

Approximately an hour north in Whittier, a separate brush fire destroyed least two homes and damaged others. The fire started near Sycamore Park Thursday afternoon burning approximately 4 acres. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Sycamore Fire was contained by Friday morning.

FOX 11 Los Angeles reports one person was arrested in connection with the Sycamore fire. 

The Los Angeles area is facing conditions favorable for quickly spreading wildfires, including low relative humidity and gusty conditions from the Santa Ana winds. 

Southern California's Santa Ana winds typically bring in hot and dry air from the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains to the coastal communities.


Meteorologists say wind gusts of more than 50 mph will be possible into the weekend, for areas south of Los Angeles.

The breezy conditions are expected to relax on Monday before a pattern change could help generate an increased onshore flow with the potential for light rain.