Amid an historic wildfire season, Southern California is the latest region in the state to suffer massive fires, forcing mandatory evacuations of 100,000 residents. The Silverado wildfire broke out in Orange County on Monday, quickly enveloping over 4,000 acres as it doubled in size in less than two hours. Strong, gusty winds fanned the flames along the dry vegetation over the canyon’s ridge, forcing 90,000 residents to evacuate. Over 1,200 fire responders have been fighting the massive blaze. Two injured firefighters reportedly sustained serious second- and third-degree burns, with several others suffering minor injuries. As of Wednesday, the fire has destroyed 13,000 acres and is 25% contained.
Southern California Edison reported the blaze may have been caused by a telecommunications wire “lashing” into a 12,000-volt conduit line connected just above it, which is currently under investigation.
Around 20 miles north of Silverado, a second fire erupted in Yorba Linda, which forced another 10,000 residential evacuations after it expanded to nearly 4.7 square miles. Fire officials have stated the region is currently experiencing 20-30 mile per hour “erratic wind speeds” with gusts reaching up to 70 miles per hour. The unpredictable winds are creating smoke and ash funnels causing dangerous chaos which is preventing firefighting aircraft from deploying to dump fire retardant and water on the hazardous infernos.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.