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Freeway Complex Fire fully contained

November 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Freeway Complex Fire is 100 percent contained after scorching more than 30,000 acres and destroying or damaging at least 259 homes.The Local Assistance Center was opened on Tuesday for wildfire victims at the East Anaheim Gymnasium at 8165 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The wildfire destroyed 187 residences and damaged 127 residential structures and four commercial properties across Brea, Yorba Linda, Corona and Anaheim.

All evacuations were lifted in the cities of Anaheim, Diamond Bar, Brea, Chino Hills and Yorba Linda.

The fire began in Corona on Saturday at about 9 a.m., and about 3,800 state, county and city firefighters battled the massive blaze. Thirteen firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The wildfire forced as many as 40,000 people from their homes across four counties, including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

As a result of the wildfire, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency in Orange and Riverside counties on Saturday night.

Glenn and Janice McCoy said they thought for sure they had lost their home in the fire and were shocked Monday morning to discover their home was still standing.

"When we left here, there was fire coming up the hill, it was in the backyard, cinders the size of softballs falling on the yard," Glenn McCoy said. "My son called from Murrieta, and he said, 'I just saw it on TV and the one to your left has burned down already, the one to the right is on fire,' and he says, 'Yours is still standing.'"

More than 259 residences were damaged or destroyed in Brea, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills and Corona.

Yorba Linda resident Jason Starr returned Monday morning to survey damage to his own home.

"Two days ago when it was coming, I could see it, a fire about a mile away, and I started loading up the horses, getting everybody out of the house, and it only took 20 minutes to travel three-quarters of a mile," Starr said.

Approximately 4,500 homes had been evacuated on Saturday in Anaheim affecting 12,600 people, and 8,000 to 10,000 people had been evacuated in Yorba Linda.

In Brea, where a separate fire had raged on Saturday until it merged with the bigger blaze to the east on Saturday night, the Carbon Canyon area was under mandatory evacuation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials believe the fire may have been caused by a vehicle's exhaust equipment.

EVACUATION CENTERS:

  • Ayala High School, 14255 Peyton Dr., Chino Hills (for Sleepy Hollow/Carbon Canyon area)
  • Brea Community Center, 695 Madison, Brea (south of Birch St., north of Imperial Hwy.)
  • Corona Vista High School, 1150 W. 10th St., Corona (west of Lincoln Ave.)
ANIMAL INFORMATION: Animals can be taken to the O.C. Shelter at 561 The City Dr. and large animals can be taken to Los Alamitos Race Course. The number is (714) 995-1234. Animals can also be taken to the Inland Valley Humane Society at 500 Humane Way in Pomona. Residents can call (909) 623-7777 or the 24-hour emergency number at (909) 594-9858.

RESOURCES: Orange County Public Information Hotline - (714) 628-7085


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