Oct 26, 2020 – In Breaking News – CNN
A wildfire that nearly quadrupled in size Monday, prompted tens of thousands of people to evacuate and caused two firefighters to suffer critical injuries may have been started by a power company’s equipment.
Southern California Edison said a power line may have played a role in the ignition of the Silverado Fire — which has burned 7,200 acres near Irvine — a report filed with California Public Utilities Commission shows.
More than 100,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders in Southern California, where the #SilveradoFire and #BlueRidgeFire have grown quickly to scorch more than 10,000 acres collectively. https://t.co/yv5ikFyR7p
— CNN (@CNN) October 27, 2020
The initial safety incident report describes overhead electrical facilities in the area where authorities think the fire started, but notes there was no activity on the circuit.
“We reported the incident despite seeing no activity on the nearby 12-kV circuit nor any downed power lines because it appears that a lashing wire attached to a telecommunications line may have contacted SCE’s power line above it, possibly starting the fire,” SCE spokesman Chris Abel told CNN.
(A brush fire that exploded in eastern Orange County Monday morning as Santa Ana winds pummeled Southern California left two firefighters critically injured while thousands evacuated the Irvine area. Courtesy of KTLA 5 News and YouTube. Posted on Oct 26, 2020.)
The fire grew to its present size in less than a day, sending families in Southern California communities into searches for the safety of friends’ homes, hotels or evacuation centers.
Because of the blaze and the new, 3,000-acre Blue Ridge Fire, Orange County Officials told 90,000 people to evacuate.
(Silverado Fire in Orange County – update 10/26/2020 – 10pm. Courtesy of CBS 8 San Diego and YouTube. Posted Oct 27, 2020.)
Fire officials said 700 people are battling the two fires, and on Monday two of them were critically injured.
The men suffered second- and third-degree burns while battling the Silverado Fire near Irvine, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy told reporters.
Fennessy visited the injured firefighters in the emergency room, but was unable to talk with the firefighters, as each is intubated.
“They were not in a position where they could speak with me,” Fennessy said.
“Our firefighters are some of the bravest in the world. This is a very hazardous job.”
At approximately 12:15 pm this afternoon two OCFA Handcrew members were critically injured fighting the #SilveradoFire. Aged 26 and 31, both are covered in second and third degree burns and are currently intibated. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/xkWZMKP4SV
— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) October 26, 2020
The unidentified men, ages 26 and 31, are part of Orange County Fire Authority’s ground crew. The team uses hand tools to stop wildfire flames from progressing, much like hotshots.
— City of Irvine (@City_of_Irvine) October 27, 2020
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured firefighters and their families.
Thank you for your bravery in serving the Orange County.
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