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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: 176157

Reported Deaths: 2461
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35145568
Washington23569229
Marion20282299
Clackamas15499204
Lane11722144
Jackson9984127
Umatilla798483
Deschutes721472
Linn418763
Yamhill412575
Klamath353759
Polk346452
Malheur343058
Josephine307862
Douglas305765
Benton275418
Jefferson207432
Coos198431
Columbia155426
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130228
Hood River113029
Morrow108115
Clatsop9008
Crook89119
Baker86114
Curry5999
Tillamook5833
Grant4204
Lake4147
Harney3136
Wallowa1575
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3723446

Reported Deaths: 61122
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122964123668
Riverside2976204547
San Bernardino2949734561
San Diego2753683674
Orange2691764900
Santa Clara1173172017
Kern1080131331
Sacramento1016651647
Fresno1007021646
Alameda855831477
Ventura803321002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus605831032
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41226560
San Francisco36094529
Santa Barbara33926446
Solano32047239
Merced31289453
Sonoma29720311
Imperial27995719
Kings22781245
Placer21908283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16289240
Santa Cruz15666204
Marin13868226
Yolo13572200
Shasta11747219
Butte11601196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598963
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399347
Humboldt363138
Amador362946
Lake341643
Glenn235825
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4287
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
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Hi: 73° Lo: 36°
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Brookings
Clear
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Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 58°
Medford
Clear
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Hi: 56° Lo: 24°
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Medford
Clear
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Hi: 76° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
Klamath Falls
Clear
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Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 33°
Sunny, warm, and breezy Wednesday
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