500 Firefighters Combat Silverado Fire, Two Injured

 The Silverado fire in Orange County has expanded due to Santa Ana winds on Monday morning.  Two firefighters are reported to have been injured in the wildfire that has now consumed over 7,200 acres.

KTLA in Los Angeles reported on Monday that the fire began in the Santa Ana mountains at approximately 6:45 a.m. near Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road.  

Because of the seasonal Santa Ana winds, which meteorologists have reported gusts of between 60 and 70 miles per hour, what began as a 10-acre fire had increased to engulf more than 4,000 acres by 1:00 p.m. and an additional 3,200 additional acres by 4:30 p.m.

As in the Camp Fire of 2019, which destroyed the town of Paradise, the Silverado blaze may have been started by equipment belonging to Southern California Edison.  As a precaution, power was cut to thousands of homes in Orange County.  In cooperation with the California Public Utilities Commission, the utility company looks into whether a connecting wire between telecommunications lines and a support cable may have struck 12,000 volt connection lines above it.

Authorities say that some 500 firefighters responded to the Silverado Fire.  A 26-year old firefighter and a 31-year-old firefighter who were members of the hand-crew fighting the blaze suffered second and third-degree burns over 50% of their bodies.  They were both transported to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana. Both men are listed in critical condition. 

As of 10:30 p.m., some 90,800 area residents were told to evacuate their homes.  This includes approximately 70,000 residents of Irvine, and 6,000 homes in Lake Forest were told by the OCFA to evacuate. 

This is a developing story.

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