More than 90,000 Orange County residents have fled their homes after two fires exploded on Monday, pushed by strong Santa Ana winds. The Silverado Fire has burned more than 11,000 acres in the Irvine area, while the Blue Ridge Fire has burned more than 15,000 acres in the Yorba Linda area. Two firefighters are in critical condition.
Melissa Fox, a council member from the City of Irvine, evacuated Monday. After working for the Orange County Fire Authority for three years, she says her family immediately prepared.
“When I first got texted a photo of the fire at 6:45 in the morning … I started getting my family ready,” she says. “Our city and myself, we’ve told everyone, ‘Hey have a go-bag because this stuff can happen instantly.’”
Fox is concerned about winds possibly shifting this afternoon.
She says Irvine has not suffered any structure loss by the Silverado Fire so far. However, the Blue Ridge Fire has damaged 10 homes in the Yorba Linda area.
The Silverado Fire is 5% contained, the Blue Ridge Fire is 0% contained, and 1750 total firefighters are tackling the two blazes, according to Fox.
The two injured firefighters, ages 26 and 31, are intubated and have second and third degree burns. Fox says for one of them, burns cover 50% of their body, and for the other, it’s 65%. What happened is still being investigated.