Near the time of the California fire, circuit activity increased.

(AP) — LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. Unspecified electrical "circuit activity" occurred around the time a destructive wildfire began in the coastal hamlet of Laguna Niguel

The Coastal Fire broke out at 2:43 p.m. Wednesday in the Orange County community, where opulent houses line ridges with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

"Our data shows circuit activity that occurred close to the stated time of the fire." In a report to the California Public Utilities Commission, SoCal Edison stated, "Our investigation is ongoing."

Authorities estimated that at least 20 residences in Laguna Niguel burned late Wednesday. The fire was estimated to be 199 acres in size (80.5 hectares).

Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the National Weather Service observed winds on the Orange County coast ranging from 34 mph to 38 mph (55-61 kph).

The weather in the area was significantly calmer on Thursday morning. Smoke billowed from a neighbourhood that had both burned and unscathed homes.

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