More than 60,000 residents of Irvine, Calif. were evacuated on Monday after the quick-burning Silverado Fire in Orange County scorched 2,000 acres. Nearly 500 firefighters were working on the blaze according to the Orange County Fire Authority. About 20,000 homes in Orchard Hills are in the evacuation zone and a number of schools have been evacuated or are asked to be ready to evacuate.
Fire authority Captain Greg Barta said high Santa Ana winds up to 70 mph were making it impossible to use helicopters. Said Barta, “The wind is making it very difficult on us. We do have crews on the ground that are attempting to construct what we call a line, which is to put hose lines and remove some of the fuel that is in the fire’s path. But it is very difficult.”
Most of the emergency shelters at community centers were reported to be full Monday afternoon, and Irvine Mayor Christina Shea said in a news release “we are asking everyone to comply with the evacuation orders for their safety and the safety of our first responders.”