A FIRE-FIGHTING plane drops red retardant in a battle against raging wildfires which forced 1,000 families to evacuate their homes.
At least 20 pricey properties burned to the ground in Laguna Niguel, in California’s upmarket Orange County.
Emergency teams blamed the fire’s spread on high winds and the sheer size of the homes.
The cause was under investigation.
Flames tore through dried grasslands gutting 20 homes and damaging at least 11 others, county officials said.
Emergency teams on the ground hosed down burned out residences to try and prevent embers flaring up.
Two firefighters were treated in a hospital while 550 tackled the blaze.
The blaze, dubbed the Coastal Fire, broke out in Laguna Niguel at 2.44pm local time on Wednesday.
It quickly grew from three to roughly 200 acres by 6pm on Wednesday.