Wind-driven Laguna Niguel wildfire destroys luxury waterfront residences

A wildfire fuelled by ocean breezes forced the evacuation of an upmarket coastal enclave in Southern California on Wednesday.

The fire near Laguna Niguel started around 2:45 p.m. and had burned 200 acres by 6 p.m., authorities said.

Several multi-million dollar mansions were among the ritzy neighborhood's blazes.

Laguna Niguel officials apparently declared an emergency to help combat the blaze.

Firefighters from Ocean County's Aliso Summit Hiking Trail battled the blaze, which climbed up a brush-covered hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Video showed aircraft spraying fire retardant and water on the smoke-filled region.

Officials ordered residents of Coronado Pointe and Pacific Island Drive to evacuate, while nearby Laguna Beach offered optional evacuations.

Deputies and firefighters evacuated residents when a state of emergency was declared.

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