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Fast-moving firefighters climbed onto roofs to sweep away embers, keeping damage to a minimum as over 1,000 people evacuated during the height of the fire.

The Orange County Fire Authority said the fire grew to 2,500 acres overnight as 500 homes were evacuated.

Anaheim Fire & Rescue responded to the blaze shortly before 1:30 p.m.in the Coal Canyon area, and the Orange County Fire Authority was assisting.

Four schools have been closed, while an evacuation centre has been opened in a fifth school for those needing shelter.

As of Tuesday morning, the fire was only five percent contained. The strong winds once again eventually became a concern, grounding some of the helicopters and the big air tanker, CBS News reported.

About 300 firefighters from the Anaheim, Corona, and Los Angeles County fire departments, as well as the OCFA, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire were battling the blaze. The winds were shifting between the sea breeze from the southwest to the offshore flow from the northeast.

Captain Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority says crews have been working through the night to protect homes, but he told KPCC media partner NBC 4 that weather conditions could make their work more hard.

Crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway.

Three of seven lanes of the eastbound portion of the freeway had been closed, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The following roads were also closed Monday night to incoming traffic: Dominguez Ranch Road, Nicholas Place, Canyon Crest Drive, Boulder Drive, Suncrest Drive, Ridgeline Drive (south of Green River), Serfas Club (south of Green River), Montana Ranch Road, and Del Mar and Trudy ways. "But we're asking the public, if possible, to avoid the eastbound 91".

KNTV reports that the fire in the Oakland Hills neighborhood had grown quickly to about 20 acres in under an hour, or roughly a third of a square mile.