Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Silverado Fire: 2 Firefighters Critically Injured, Evacuations For 90,000 Residents

5f975bcabef47b0008897dd1-eight.jpg
Firefighters work as the Silverado Fire burns toward a home in Orange County on October 26, 2020 in Irvine, California. The fire has prompted mandatory evacuations of 60,000 residents and has grown to 4,000 acres. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LAist relies on reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

This story is no longer being updated. Follow our coverage of the Silverado Fire for Tuesday, Oct. 27 >>

This story was last updated at 6 p.m.

Check back with us in the morning for fresh updates, and follow these official sources for updates throughout the night:


Support for LAist comes from

A wildfire broke out in the Irvine area early Monday amid dangerously strong Santa Ana winds, prompting evacuation orders for some 90,800 people and burning two firefighters severely.

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

At about 12:15 p.m., two handcrew members, 26 and 31, were critically injured with second and third degree burns, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Half of one firefighter's body and 65% of the other's were burned. Both have been intubated.

Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennesy said he visited the injured firefighters at the hospital, who he described as "gravely injured." He added that the department is giving them support through their chaplan program, and asked that everyone keeps them in their thoughts and prayers.

Support for LAist comes from

The area is currently under a red flag warning due to strong, dry Santa Ana winds, which are expected to continue through tomorrow. Gusts of up to 84 mph have been observed in the area, according to data from the National Weather Service.

In videos taken on the ground, the wind can be seen bending trees and brush, and the speakers’ voices are muffled by the noise.

The fire has jumped State Route 241 and is threatening homes in the area. Air units had been supporting firefighters on the ground but were grounded because of the high winds.

At 4:30 p.m., Irvine Mayor Christina Shea joined a Facebook live update, to urge residents to comply with evacuation orders.

Support for LAist comes from

Fire officials said no structures have been lost yet, within the city of Irvine.

Aircraft that would normally be dousing the area with fire retardant, have been grounded due to unsafe conditions created by high winds. Officials are hoping to launch them when and if those winds die down.

"It much tougher to [put those fires out] without that help from above," Fire Chief Brian Fennesy said.

THE BASICS

Support for LAist comes from
  • Acreage: 7,200
  • Containment: 0%
  • Structures threatened: N/A
  • Resources deployed: 500 personnel

BACKGROUND

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

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.

5f976aa6bef47b0008897e04-eight.jpg
A firefighter works during the Silverado Fire in Orange County on October 26, 2020 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CAUSE

Nothing is confirmed yet, but Southern Claifornia Edison has notified the state that it's 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.

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory:

  • All residences from Irvine Boulevard south to Trabuco Road and from Jeffrey Road east to Portola High School
  • Previously: Area north of Irvine Boulevard between Bake Parkway and Jamboree Road
  • Communities in the city of Lake Forest, Baker Ranch and Foothill Ranch

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

SCHOOL CLOSURES & EVACUATIONS

The following schools are under evacuation orders:

High Schools:

  • Northwood High School

Elementary:

  • Portola Springs
  • Eastwood
  • Stonegate
  • Loma Ridge
  • Canyon View
  • Santiago Hills

Montessori:

  • Le Port
  • Northwood
  • Little Explorers

These Tustin Unified schools evacuated to Beckman High School:

  • Orchard Hills: students moved to Beckman High School for parent-pickup
  • Hicks Canyon: student pickups from school
  • Myford: student pickups from school

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified:

  • Bryant Ranch School: Students being bused to Esperanza High School for reunification (1830 Kellogg Dr, Anaheim, CA 92807)

EVACUATION CENTER

  • (FULL)
  • (FULL)
  • (FULL)
  • (FULL)
  • (FULL)
  • Las Lomas Community Center: 10 Federation Way
  • Turtle Rock Community Center: 1 Sunnyhill, 92603
  • Newport Coast Community Center: 6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92657
  • Village Church of Irvine at 77 Post (opens at noon for anyone needing a place to go)

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

  • SR 241 from Santiago to the 133
  • Portolla from 241 to Jamboree
  • Santiago Canyon Road from Cooks to the 241

In addition, the Southern Open Space Preserve, which includes Bommer Canyon, Quail Hill, and Shady Canyon trails, is closed.

5f9756e6bef47b0008897db8-eight.jpg
An Orange County firefighter looks for hotspots near a residential area in the Silverado Fire October 26, 2020 in Irvine, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

Reporter Jill Replogle is reporting from the field. Reporter Jacob Margolis is providing additional context and background. KPCC producers are making calls and confirming details from the studio. Brian Frank is keeping this story updated.

FIRE RESOURCES

YOUR QUESTIONS OR IDEAS

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.