IRVINA (CBSLA) – Thousands of residents of Irvine, who had been ordered to evacuate because of a fire in Silverado, returned home on Wednesday as the firefighters made significant progress against a calmer wind.
The flame, which struck two firefighters and blackened 13,354 hectares, jumped from 5 to 25%.
Evacuation orders and warnings for Irwin and the Viejo mission have been lifted, as well as in many parts of Lake Forest.
Although some 69,000 buildings were threatened by fire, none of them were destroyed.
Fire and smoke from a Silverado fire in front of the Whiting Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary in Lake Forest, California, 27. October 2020. (Allen J. Cockroaches/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)
At the height of the fire, more than 91,000 people were evacuated. However, many of these evacuation orders were withdrawn on Tuesday.
Two firefighters who suffered severe burns in the fire are still in hospital.
More than 1200 firefighters fought the fire with eight landing helicopters.
Santa Ana’s strong winds and the red flag conditions that contributed to the spread of fire have subsided.
Today, firefighters will strengthen existing controlled lines, CAL Fire said in a statement. In favourable weather conditions, firefighters can install more control cables.
Although there is still forced evacuation in some areas, residents have expressed their frustration that they cannot return to their homes if they have not seen flames or smoke nearby.
Some of them parked when the evacuation routes were closed and entered.
I think a lot of people are very upset about this situation, Becky Pham said. But I hear there are still some hot spots in the canyon that we can’t see…
Residents who came back said they were happy to be back and grateful that the firefighters were able to save their homes.
Early in the morning of Tuesday, Peter Frankudakis watched from his security camera two firefighters extinguishing a fire in his backyard.
My wife and I looked into the camera and started to see flames and coal, and then we saw the crews at the shipyard… He was a bit nervous, he said. Men and women firemen… I can’t even say enough for her. I have great respect for them.
The fire started before 7:00 in the morning. Monday in the region of Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon, with the strong Santa Ana wind and the red flag conditions as background. It jumped on Route 241 and began to spread to the west. In three hours it exploded over 2,000 hectares.
Five firefighters were injured in a fire at Silverado. Two of them are in critical condition and three others have been treated in local hospitals for minor injuries and have been discharged.
Both are in critical condition at 26 and 31. Both had second and third degree burns Monday afternoon, one on 65 percent of the body and the other on more than half, Orange County Chief Brian Fennessy said.
Both firefighters were intubated at the UC Global Medical Center in Santa Ana.
Meanwhile, all residents living south of Portola Parkway and west of 133 Avenue were able to access their homes Tuesday, as were residents living east of 133 Avenue to Portola High School and between Irvin and Grand Boulevards of the Park.
All people who lived south of Portola, east of the 133rd and west of the ashes, were also allowed to return home.
We don’t know exactly how many more people are being evacuated. There are mandatory evacuation orders for Jackson Ranch, Williams Canyon and Modieska Canyon.
At about 3 p.m., according to the Orange County Fire Department, all evacuations in Irvine relating to the Silverado fire were cancelled. Some evacuations are still ongoing in parts of Lake Forest.
Several parts of motorways 241, 261, 91 and 133 remain closed.
All schools in Irvine United School District are closed on Wednesdays. The allied schools of Tustiana will operate on a regular schedule, with the exception of special classes that will be taught online, the district said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of firefighters also fought the Blue Ridge fire that broke out in the Crown on Monday afternoon and spread westwards to the Chino Hills and Yorba Linda. A fire that hit 14,300 acres destroyed one house and damaged at least seven others.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report).
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