Emerald Bay fire: Crews contain fire that erupted in Laguna Beach

After 14 days, fire crews were able to contain the Emerald Bay Fire that sparked in Laguna Beach the morning of Feb. 10.

The wind-driven fire was reported just before 4:10 a.m. in the 1400 block of Emerald Bay, located near the Pacific Coast Highway. Fire officials say the fire was contained at 150 acres.

OCFA said crews were doing fire suppression, picking up equipment and working to minimize erosion next time rain moves into the area.

OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy said during a press conference that the fire spread to the north. The crews who worked to extinguish the fire included 75 engines, 4 Cal Fire air tankers, 5 hand crews, 2 bulldozers, and 5 helicopters. 


Fennessy confirmed the fire came dangerously close to the homes on the north end of Emerald Bay. However, no homes were damaged and no injuries were reported. 


On February 10, the embers and ash were pushing down the hillside as firefighters were up against fierce Santa Ana winds with the potential to gust between 40 and 60 mph. At the time the fire sparked, Southern California was in the midst of a heat wave as hot and dry conditions prevailed over the region with summer-like temperatures.

"It felt like a fall day to me until the winds started to subside," Fennessy recalled when he arrived at the scene Feb. 10. 

Santino Rossi, a Laguna Beach resident who alerted the fire department, told FOX 11’s Gigi Graciette he woke up when the howling winds caused a garbage can to hit his bedroom window. He went back to sleep but a short time later, he decided to wake up his parents.

"We all smelled smoke in the house, so we went outside and saw a fire on the hill and the authorities came and started clearing it up," he said. 

Multiple agencies were working to contain the blaze including the OCFA and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

Evacuation orders

Evacuation orders were lifted Thursday afternoon for the communities of North Laguna Beach, Emerald Bay north and south, and Irvine Cove. 


Road closures

PCH was closed in both directions from the Newport Coast to Laguna Beach from Ledtroit Street to Reef Point Drive for hours. The roads reopened in both directions by 1:15 p.m. Feb. 10.

School closures 

Classes were canceled at all schools in the Laguna Beach Unified School District on February 10.

Park Closures

The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park were closed are closed due to the fire. They have since reopened.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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