Story at a glance

  • Officials said both firefighters suffered second- and third-degree burns across large parts of their bodies and are currently intubated.
  • The Silverado Fire was sparked in Orange County on Monday morning and quickly exploded to 4,000 acres, doubling in size within two hours due to strong winds.
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, the blaze had scorched 11,200 acres and was just 5 percent contained, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Two firefighters were critically injured on Monday while battling the fast-moving Silverado Fire in southern California that has forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. 

The Orange County Fire Authority said the firefighters were injured while battling the large blaze near Irvine, Calif., southeast of Los Angeles, but did not provide details on how the injuries occurred. Officials said both firefighters suffered second- and third-degree burns across large parts of their bodies and are currently intubated. 


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The Silverado Fire was sparked in Orange County on Monday morning and quickly exploded to 4,000 acres, doubling in size within two hours due to strong winds. As of Tuesday afternoon, the blaze had scorched 11,200 acres and was just 5 percent contained, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. 

Officials said more than 750 firefighters are working to contain the blaze while 70,000 residents in Irvine and 6,000 in Lake Forest are under evacuation orders. 

Power company Southern California Edison said it was investigating whether its electrical equipment had caused the growing fire, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Blue Ridge Fire initially broke out Monday afternoon near Chino Hills State Park and is now threatening homes in Yorba Linda prompting evacuations of about 20,000 residents. The blaze has burned through 8,000 acres with no containment and damaged at least 10 homes. 

The pair of fast-growing fires comes as California has experienced a record-breaking wildfire season driven by high temperatures and worsening droughts that have been linked to climate change. 

More than 4 million acres have burned in California this year alone, the most in a single year. The figure is more than twice the acreage burned in California’s previous record fire season in 2018. 

Six of the state’s top 20 largest wildfires occurred in 2020, including the August Complex Fire that tore through more than 1 million acres.


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Published on Oct 27, 2020