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California wildfires still growing but some residents are allowed to return home

Two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California grew Tuesday, but while officials issued some new evacuation orders, they also told many residents from I...

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 9:26 AM
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 4:45 PM

Two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California grew Tuesday, but while officials issued some new evacuation orders, they also told many residents from Irvine they could go home.

The Silverado Fire near Irvine has charred 12,600 acres and is 5% contained. Just north of that, the Blue Ridge Fire near Yorba Linda has ballooned in size, more than doubling its footprint, currently calculated at 15,200 acres. The fire, which is 0% contained, has damaged 10 homes.

More than 80,000 people have been told to stay away from their homes, including some NFL football players for the Los Angeles Chargers.

That number is down by about 20,000, as many residents who fled Irvine have been told the area is safe now.

Southern California Edison said a power line may have played a role in igniting the Silverado Fire, according to a report filed with California Public Utilities Commission.

The initial safety incident report describes overhead electrical facilities in the area where authorities think the fire started but notes no activity on the circuit.

'...(It) appears that a lashing wire attached to a telecommunications line may have contacted SCE's power line above it, possibly starting the fire,' SCE spokesman Chris Abel told CNN.

Between the fires roaring in Southern California and dry, windy conditions prompting red flag warnings in Northern California, power companies have enacted Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

Nearly 130,000 customers in California were without power Tuesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US.

The bulk of the customers are managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for Northern California and Southern California Edison.

Two firefighters suffer severe burns

Fire officials said 1,800 people are battling the two fires, and on Monday two of them were critically injured.

The men suffered second- and third-degree burns while battling the Silverado Fire near Irvine, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy told reporters.

Fennessy said Tuesday they were 'fighting for their lives.'

'I know them personally. They are strong. Having gotten to know their parents over the past 24 hours, I can see where they got their strength, Fennessy said. 'It's tough to feel this helpless.'

The men, ages 26 and 31, are part of Orange County Fire Authority's ground crew. Their names haven't been released. The team uses hand tools to stop wildfire flames from progressing, much like hotshots.

Three other firefighters had minor injuries, were treated at the hospital, and released.

Things changed very fast, evacuee says

As Ed Pascasio fled from the Silverado Fire on Monday afternoon with his wife, niece and sister-in-law, he watched embers flying toward their neighborhood.

'The sky was orange, kind of like doomsday,' he said. 'I've never seen it change dramatically that fast.'

The cars packed on main roads -- filled with fleeing residents -- resembled a movie scene, Pascasio said.

'A lot of neighbors were leaving at the same time. Everyone was shocked by the speed of it all,' he said.

This has been a devastating year for fires. At least 8,000 fire incidents reported by Cal Fire have burned a record 4 million acres and claimed the lives of 31 people this year so far. And dry, windy conditions have prompted power shutoffs to prevent more.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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Rain arrives overnight, messy start to Monday
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