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Silverado Fire: More Than 13,000 Acres; Containment At 25%; Some Evacuation Orders Lifted

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Firefighters work during the Silverado Fire in Orange County on October 26, 2020 in Irvine, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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This story is no longer being updated. Follow our coverage of the Silverado Fire for Thursday, Oct. 29 >>

This story was last updated at 4:45 p.m.

Follow these official sources for the latest emergency information:


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The Silverado Fire continues to burn in the hills near Irvine as firefighters have been taking advantage of improved weather conditions to contain the blaze.

Evacuation orders in place for roughly 70,000 homes in Irvine were lifted this afternoon. Additional mandatory evacuations in much of Lake Forest were also lifted, although some homes in communitites adjacent to the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park remain under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

Here's what else we know so far today:

THE BASICS

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  • Acreage: 13,354
  • Containment: 25%
  • Structures threatened: At the height, as many as 69,058
  • Structures destroyed: None
  • Resources deployed: 1,200+ firefighters

On Monday, two firefighters were burned over at least half their bodies and were intubated. Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennesy described them as "gravely injured."
Three other firefighters have sustained minor injuries.

The fire started at 6:47 a.m. Monday in the area of Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road, according to a post from the city of Irvine.

The strong, dry Santa Ana winds that howled through the region starting Monday let up Tuesday evening, and CalFire officials said crews were taking advantage of conditions by building containment lines overnight.

BACKGROUND

The area that's burning last burned in the Santiago Fire back in 2007.

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That fire consumed 28,000 acres and destroyed 42 structures. Fuel is lighter this time around because of the previous fire, but there are far more homes threatened as developments have expanded.

CAUSE

Nothing is confirmed yet, but Southern California Edison has notified the state that its power line may have sparked the fire.

The report says "it appears that a lashing wire that was attached to an underbuilt telecommunication line may have contact SCE’s overhead primary conductor which may have resulted in the ignition of the fire."

An internal investigation at SCE is ongoing, according to the report.

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EVACUATIONS

Note: Mandatory evacuations were lifted for the entire city of Irvine as of 2:50 p.m. Wednesday. Find details for Irvine zones via this map.

Lake Forest evacuation zones 1 through 9 have also been lifted, as well as Orange County zones MV1 and T3.

Several areas are still under mandatory evacuation, including Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, parts of Foothill Ranch and Mojeska Canyon.

Check the Orange County Emergency Public Information Map to see if you may be in an evacuation zone.

SCHOOL CLOSURES

All schools in the Irvine Unified School District remain closed today, according to Irvine city officials. Families were urged to monitor their phones and emails for updates and visit IUSD's Twitter page for more information. Tustin Unified School District schools resumed instruction today.

EVACUATION CENTERS

*For the most up-to-date information on evacuations, the Orange County Sheriff's Department website has an emergency map.

  • University High School: 4771 Campus Dr
  • Woodbridge High School: 2 Meadowbrook
  • Las Lomas Community Center: 10 Federation Way
  • Turtle Rock Community Center: 1 Sunnyhill, 92603
  • University Community Center: 1 Beech Tree Lane
  • Quail Hill Community Center: 35 Shady Canyon Dr
  • Los Olivos Community Center: 101 Alfonso
  • Harvard Community Center: 14701 Harvard
  • Rancho Senior Center: 3 Ethel Coplen Way
  • Newport Coast Community Center: 6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92657
  • Village Church of Irvine at 77 Post

Note: Officials say the evacuation centers allow pets, but residents also have the option of dropping off their pets at Irvine Animal Care Center.
ROAD CLOSURES

  • Southbound 241 at HWY 91
  • Northbound 261 at Irvine Blvd.
  • Northbound 133 at I-5
  • Santiago County at Hwy 241

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT VOTING?

On Monday, four ballot drop boxes in Orange County were closed, as they happened to be inside the evacuation zones for both the Silverado and Blue Ridge fires.

As of Wednesday afternoon, two of those boxes have reopened --Drop Boxes #28 (5701 Trabuco Road, Irvine) and #29 (1300 Sanctuary, Irvine).

All ballots in the affected drop boxes have been retrieved and secured by Registrar of Voters’ Ballot Collection Teams under escort by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

You can find updated ballot dropbox info here.

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

This is a developing story. We fact-check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

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