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Firefighters are attacking a wind-driven brush fire early Monday in the Santiago Canyon area in Orange County.

The fire, estimated at more than 50 acres, is burning near Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon roads. It was reported at about 7 a.m. during a morning of extremely strong wind gusts pushing the fire to the west.

Water-dropping helicopters are at the scene. Crews were re-filling with water form nearby Lake Irvine.

The fire has jumped Route 241, but did not appear to be threatening homes. Route 241 and other nearby roads are closed.

Smoke can be seen from miles away, including form Irvine, Newport Beach and other areas.

The fire broke out during a day of red flag warnings that will remain in effect through Tuesday. Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph are possible in some mountain passes. 

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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