The Silverado Fire started Monday, Oct. 26 in the Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road area, and has grown to an estimated 13,354 acres, with 25% containment as of Wednesday morning—so far there has been no loss of structures. Almost 100,000 people were forced to evacuate as the powerful Santa Ana winds of up to 60 mph fueled the blaze.
The Orange County Fire Authority at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday lifted mandatory evacuations for all zones in Irvine. However, evacuation orders for zones three and four in Lake Forest are still in place. To check the area, see the interactive map.
The Blue Ridge Fire on the border of Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties has burned 14,334 acres as of Tuesday evening, Oct. 27, threatening homes in Yorba Linda and Chino Hills, fire officials said.
Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy announced at Tuesday’s press conference that additional resources had been assigned to fight both the Silverado Fire and the Blue Ridge Fire. This included 1,800 firefighters on the fire line and 14 helicopters assisting from the air and fixed-wing aircraft dropping fire retardant on the fires, plus dozers and the helitanker.
Residents near fire areas should be prepared to evacuate if needed. For a list of items, click here.
Fire resources and information
—AlertOC – Register for emergency notices from the County and receive up-to-date information regarding emergencies in the area.
Irvine has a Care and Reception Center for evacuated residents to use between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the Quail Hill Community Center located at 39 Shady Canyon. Overnight lodging is available at University and Woodbridge high schools and the cities have worked with the American Red Cross to place families in hotels overnight. All centers and high schools have COVID-19 protocols in place and require masks.
“As we continue to repopulate the area, certain Care and Reception Centers are being taken offline as the need has significantly decreased,” said Melissa Haley, deputy city manager for Irvine, in an email. “We will reassess later today if Woodbridge High School is needed as an overnight shelter pending repopulation efforts.”
On Monday, Irvine had two high schools, seven community centers and an additional four centers from local area partners for evacuated residents.
On Monday, Takeshi Yamamura went to work as the manager of Taiko Japanese Restaurant in Irvine, but then received a text saying that there was an evacuation order and he wasn’t able to go back to his home.
“I had to spend the night at a hotel and pay several hundred dollars,” Yamamura said.
He then decided to go to the Quail Hill Community Center to get help in finding a place to stay.
Lake Forest/El Toro Resources
Residents in the areas affected can go to any of the Care and Reception Centers.
Vicky Blethen is the recreation manager for the Care and Shelter facility at El Toro High School, in Lake Forest. There they provide food, water and resources for residents that have been evacuated. The address is El Toro High School, 25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest (open 24 hours) with overnight parking lot accessibility.
“The parking lot is also available for people to sleep in their cars overnight,” Blethen said. “Though on average there have only been five or six people that stayed overnight— however, most people have stayed with family or friends.”
The Lischer family evacuated from Foothill Ranch on Monday afternoon and were able to get a hotel room in Carlsbad. Wanting to be closer to home, Lisa Lisher and her husband Rodney Lisher and their son stayed overnight in their car with their three small dogs at the Care Center Tuesday evening.
“The workers are great, there is food, but we are hoping to get back in,” Lisa Lischer said.
Another Care and Reception Center is located for evacuated residents at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center in Mission Viejo at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo.
Volunteers – Due to COVID-19 restrictions, cities are not accepting any on-site volunteers. However, donations such as food/water are being accepted.
Donations – Two Orange County firefighters were injured Monday and are in critical condition after suffering second- and third-degree burns over large portions of their bodies. Tim Steging representing Orange County Firefighters Relief Fund 3631, said they were working with the International Firefighters Association and a burn coordinator for their care. Those interested in donating for their recovery and support can go to the GoFundMe page.
The public should be aware of people making calls saying that they are raising funds for fire victims.
“Bad actors trying to call the public and seeking to defraud them,” Fennessy said. “Neither the Orange County Fire Authority, municipal fire agencies, the sheriff’s department or municipal police agencies telephone people and ask them for contributions or donations. If you are contacted by a phone call by somebody who is pretending or alluding that they are representing a fire agency or law enforcement agency, that is not a legitimate call.”