The wind-driven brush fire, first reported around 10 a.m., has consumed at least 2,000 acres as it spread quickly through the Anaheim Hills area.
Eyewitness News observed at least nine homes that were destroyed by flames. The number may increase as the fire continues spreading and as assessments continue.
One homeowner stood on Via El Estribo and just watched as his home burned before his eyes.
As he stood there, a piece of the roof exploded, sending debris scattering into the air. Other homes on the street were also catching fire.
"Devastation. Heartbreak," said homeowner Scott Drew, describing his feelings at seeing his home of the last four years burn.
Firefighters, he said, worked hard to protect his house and the others.
"They were battling hard. They tried. I walked up on it and they had a ton of water going, helicopter drops, but it wasn't enough to save it."