60,000 people ordered to evacuate Irvine, Calif., as wildfire spreads

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Officials ordered about 60,000 people to evacuate Irvine, Calif., on Monday as a wildfire that started earlier in the day spread. 

The Silverado Fire, which ignited at about 6:47 a.m. Monday, has wreaked havoc in Orange County, with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) officials saying it has burnt 2,000 acres and is 0 percent contained. 

The massive evacuation prompted the county to set up six community centers, three of which were reported to be full, according to a press release

Flames crossed Highway 241 by 9:30 a.m., according to a tweet from the Orange County Fire Authority public information officer. 

“The fire started in Silverado Canyon, and helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are on the way,” Mayor Christina Shea said in a statement. “The wind is making it move very quickly.”

California has struggled with record wildfires this season. Almost 34 million people are under red flag warnings in the state and throughout the Southwest because of the weather conditions, CNN reported

CalFire said in a Sunday release that more than 4,000 firefighters are fighting 22 wildfires in the state. 

High winds with gusts up to 60 mph in Los Angeles and Ventura counties could cause power outages and lead to further spread of the flames.

Utility Southern California Edison initiated a public safety power shutoff to 18,000 customers in nearby counties because of the fire risk, The Orange County Register reported.

Tags California California fires California wildfires evacuation Fire Irvine Orange County Wildfire

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