(CNN) - When Keith Morey and his wife, Lynn, returned to their Laguna Niguel, California, home, they found little left in the ashes.
Since its start on Wednesday, the Coastal Fire quickly ripped through mansions along hillside streets in Laguna Niguel, a city of about 65,000 with some of the state's wealthiest neighborhoods.
The blaze destroyed 20 homes and damaged at least 11 others, county officials said.
Firefighters managed to salvage a wedding photo and returned it to the Moreys when the couple went back to their community.
"Every day in life can bring us tragedy, but we always look at how we can get through this," Lynn Morey told CNN affiliate KABC.
The brush fire, driven by California's prolonged drought, has burned through roughly 200 acres and continued to threaten coastal Orange County homes for a third day Friday, after hundreds of people south of Los Angeles were forced to evacuate.
The mandatory evacuation orders that previously affected roughly 900 homes in Laguna Niguel communities were reduced to cover several streets Friday afternoon, affecting about 131 homes, city officials announced.
The blaze was 25% contained Friday afternoon, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
Concerns loom that embers may spread in coming days as California and the region expect temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above average into early next week, with forecast highs topping 100 degrees in parts of the state, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.