Hundreds of multi-million-pound homes in California are under threat today after a brush fire ravaged more than 2,000 acres of hillside.
More than 500 houses in Orange County, 35 miles south-east of Los Angeles, were evacuated after hot, dry winds helped stoke the fire.
Two homes were damaged but no one was injured as 800 firefighters prevented the blaze from reaching more populous areas.
Winds blowing up to 35 mph had made conditions at the scene difficult.
Firefighters were aided by helicopters and planes dropping water and retardant on the flames, and police went door-to-door to warn residents to evacuate.
Thirty per cent of the fire had been contained by early today, but authorities said there still some hotspots that could flare up and threaten properties if strong winds returned.
The area, like much of Southern California, is under a red flag alert, indicating a high fire danger.
A prolonged drought has left the chaparral-covered hills highly combustible.
Authorities said the blaze may have been started by a vehicle fire, and were investigating if a car had been stolen and set on fire to destroy evidence.
Fleeing fires has become a part of life for many residents.
Susan Snell, who has lived for 23 years in Anaheim Hills, part of Orange County, followed a well-worn routine yesterday.
She put her cat in a carrier, packed tax and insurance papers and photographs and found a good vantage point.
"It's freaky what you end up taking with you," she said as she watched television at the Anaheim Hills Community Center for updates.