The Pacific Coast Highway was closed in both directions in the area and all schools were closed in North Laguna.
The blaze, dubbed the Emerald Fire, covers 145 acres and is 5% contained, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said at a new conference Thursday morning.
Fennessy, who had said earlier that the fire covered 7 to 10 acres, attributed the change in acreage to improved mapping of the blaze.
“The fire is not spreading rapidly at this time,” he said.
Multiple fire agencies are responding to the scene, including the California Highway Patrol, and firefighters from Orange and Los Angeles counties. “This is the only fire right now in California, so we are resource rich,” said Fennessy.
Fennessy said the last time the area burned was in 1993.
Laguna Beach Fire Chief Mike Garcia asked residents to be patient regarding evacuations. “There’s an active fire going on, you don’t see it, so it’s easy for everybody to think hey, it’s okay, we need to get back into our house,” he said.
“We’re telling you, it’s not. This is subject to wind and wind changes.”