Destructive Canyon Fire 2 Blazes Through Orange County

Leena Shin, Staff Writer

ANAHEIM HILLS – Starting on Monday, Oct. 9, a huge wildfire spread throughout the Orange County area in Anaheim, Orange, and Tustin, affecting thousands of residents. The raging fires forced many people, including Beckman High School students and staff, to evacuate from their homes.


The Canyon Fire 2, named after the Canyon Fire that occurred last month, started in Coal Canyon near the 91 Freeway. The cause of the fire is currently unknown and is under investigation. There were no deaths reported from the incident, but 25 structures were obliterated, 55 structures were damaged and 3,500 other structures were threatened. As a result, 1000 firefighters worked hard to fight against the flames to secure the wellbeings of citizens and their homes.


Mandatory evacuations were issued to many students at Beckman High School and those who were directly affected by the fire. “I first heard about the fire when I was going home because my brother told me that we were not allowed to go home because the fire reached our neighborhood,” expressed sophomore Amanda Boktor. “I was legitimately scared because I just wanted to make sure that nobody was home to reassure myself that my family was okay. I was really anxious because I didn’t want my neighbor’s houses or my house to be affected by the fire. My family and I were not allowed to go home because the fire had gotten so bad. We spent two nights at a hotel and we were allowed to go home in the morning on Wednesday.”


The fire affected many individuals in various ways, even if they were not evacuated from their homes. “I personally was not directly affected in terms of evacuation,” explained Mr. Beilin, a math teacher at Beckman High School. “However, I felt physically ill due to the smoke. I did not feel well and received conditions of watery eyes, a cold and overall I was not in a good condition for a bit due to the smoke emitted from the fire.”


Due to the effects of the fire, all schools in the Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) closed on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to protect the safety of the students from the fumes and smoke of the fire. However, the district deemed air quality to be safe on Tuesday night and resumed school activities on Wednesday, Oct. 11, as evacuation orders were lifted.


When people were first informed of the fire, many were shocked at the unexpected incident. “When I heard the news of the fire, I was extremely shocked. Even though I didn’t have to evacuate from my house, I was still scared and worried for the people that were affected by it and had to evacuate their houses. Natural disasters like that don’t occur that often around here, so it was a surprising event for me,” said senior Yujin Chung.


Firefighters were able to contain all of the fire by Tuesday, Oct. 17. After more than a week went by until the fire was able to be 100 percent contained, many are relieved that the fire did not take any lives. However, the flames still burned down numerous structures and damaged 9,217 acres of land throughout various areas in Orange County.