Brief wildfire breaks out in Bolsa Chica wetlands

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A 63 acre brush fire at The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve East of Pacific Coast Highway off of Warner Avenue on Sunday, July 26. Photos by Chris MacDonald

A blaze of approximately five acres that began about 5 p.m., Sunday, July 26, quickly spread throughout the Bolsa Chica wetlands near Huntington Beach and forced the evacuation of area residents before it was finally brought under control.

According to television reports, the fire burned through 63 acres before the Huntington Beach Fire Department was able to report full containment about 7 p.m.

Some residents were evacuated in an abundance of caution and while no structural damages or injuries were reported, several homes were threatened, and firefighters stopped the flames about 100 yards away from reaching them.

Officials expressed concern about a large recreation area connected to the wetlands and the wildlife in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, where more than 200 avian species have been identified.

“We have a lot of different wildlife in there, we have waterways in there, we also have the Bolsa Chica conservancy and it’s an area where people like to walk as well. The environment is always one of our main things that we look [at] and we want to save,” said Eric Blaska of the Huntington Beach Fire Department told CBS television in Los Angeles.

The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.