Silverado Fire in Orange County, Southern California threatens structures

Most of the fire is between Santiago Canyon Road and Portola Parkway

Updated October 27, 2020   |    5 p.m. PDT

In a briefing late Tuesday afternoon Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said the Silverado Fire had burned 12,600 acres, and 78,000 homes have been evacuated.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department website has the latest information about evacuations.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Silverado Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

An Incident Management Team from CAL FIRE, Team 6, will assume command of both the Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires Tuesday night.

The two fires had access to 14 helicopters and a variable number of fixed wing air tankers Tuesday.

Both of the firefighters that were seriously burned Monday on the Silverado Fire are still in critical condition.


Update October 27, 2020   |   12:14 p.m. PDT

Silverado Fire
Silverado Fire as seen from Pleasants Peak at 12:11 p.m. Oct. 27, 2020. Looking southwest.

At 9 a.m. PDT Tuesday Orange County authorities said the Silverado Fire had burned 11,200 acres and 76,000 residents have been evacuated.

The weather forecast calls for decreasing winds after 2 p.m. PDT Tuesday, which should give firefighters a better chance to slow the spread of the fire.


Updated October 27, 2020   |   5:26 a.m. PDT

The map above shows the hot areas on the Silverado Fire at 11 p.m. PDT Oct. 26, 2020. The perimeter was not mapped because there was not enough heat for the sensors on the fixed wing aircraft to detect. Many areas that burned had cooled by the time the fire was mapped. You can zoom in and move around on the map.

At 9:26 p.m. Monday Orange County fire authorities said the Silverado Fire had burned 7,200 acres.

Silverado Fire
Silverado Fire as seen from Pleasants Peak at 5:21 a.m. PDT Oct. 27, 2020, looking southwest.

The fire was active throughout the night, but less so than during the day due to a decrease in winds. Those winds began to increase around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning as expected and more flare-ups were occurring, including near Limestone Canyon Road and Limestone Ridge Road.

Several helicopters worked the fire for most of the night, dropping water and assisting firefighters on the ground.

Silverado Fire evacuation zones
Silverado Fire evacuation and warning zones at 5 a.m. PDT Oct. 27, 2020. These zones can change on a minute by minute basis. Visit Orange County’s website for current information.

Updated October 26, 2020   |   5:21 p.m. PDT

At 4:30 p.m. on Monday Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said the Silverado Fire had burned 7,200 acres and 22,000 homes have been evacuated. There have been no reports of structures being destroyed, the Chief said.

Chief Fennessy said two firefighters working on the County’s hand crew were gravely injured on the Silverado Fire. They suffered serious burns and have been intubated.

“They were working near what we call the heel of the fire, where the fire started,” the Chief said. “We don’t have any information about what occurred. We have requested an accident review team from the state to come in and do the investigation… I was with them when their families arrived. We are giving them all the support we can, not only through our Chaplin program, but we have a very comprehensive peer behavioral health program.”

Map Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires
The red dots represent heat on the Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires detected by a satellite at 2:24 p.m. PDT. It started very near the tip of the arrow. The origin area and the center of the fire show very little heat that was detected by the satellite. That is likely because the vegetation was fairly light, brush and grass, so it burned and cooled quickly before the satellite overflight at 2:24 p.m. The fire was reported around 7 a.m. October 26.

Nine air tankers have been ordered for the fire. Earlier, all aircraft were grounded because of the very strong winds.

Silverado Fire dozers
A dozer working on the Silverado Fire not far from the heel of the fire near Dripping Springs Loop, at 11:18 a.m. PDT October 26, 2020. NBCLA.

Updated October 26, 2020   |   1:42 p.m. PDT

Silverado Fire
The east side of the Silverado Fire. Looking southwest from Pleasants Peak at 1:39 p.m. PDT October 26, 2020. AlertWildfire.

The Orange County Fire Authority said at 2 p.m. the Silverado Fire had grown to about 4,000 acres. At least 150 pieces of fire apparatus and 500 personnel are assigned.

Roads closed include:
•Portola Parkway from 241 to Jamboree
•Highway 241 from the 133 to Santiago
•Santiago Canyon Rd from Cooks to the 241


Updated October 26, 2020   |   11:55 a.m. PDT

Firefighters have requested an additional 20 fire engines for the Leafy Pass area of Orchard Hills where they anticipate structures will be threatened.

Silverado Fire dozers
Dozers working on the north end of the Silverado Fire near Dripping Springs Loop at 11:18 a.m. PDT October 26, 2020. NBCLA

Updated October 26, 2020   |   10:52 a.m. PDT

CAL FIRE has revised their size estimate of the Silverado Fire again, now saying it has burned 2,000 acres. All aircraft, fixed wing and helicopters, are grounded due to the strong Santa Ana winds.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for some areas in Irvine, affecting about 60,000 people. The city has a map identifying the evacuation zone — it takes a while for the zones to show up after you go to the site.

Silverado Fire evacuation zones
Silverado Fire evacuation zones at 9:42 a.m. PDT Oct. 26, 2020. These zones can change on a minute by minute basis. Go to Irvine’s website for current information.

Residents of Orange County can sign up at AlertOC.org to receive notifications of emergencies that may require immediate life saving actions. Driving in Orange County in Southern California is very difficult now due to the #SilveradoFire, with many road congested and others closed. Anyone considering evacuating should do it well before it becomes a critical situation.

Silverado Fire
Silverado Fire at 9:47 a.m. PDT October 26, 2020. KTLA
CH-47 dropping water on the Silverado Fire
CH-47 dropping water on the Silverado Fire in Orange County, California at 9:23 a.m. PDT Oct. 26, 2020, KTLA image. Later, helicopters were grounded due to the winds, along with the fixed wing aircraft.

 Updated October 26, 2020   |    9:11 a.m. PDT

map Silverado Fire
Map showing the location of the Silverado Fire and the track of Air Attack at the Silverado Fire, 7:53 a.m. PDT October 26, 2020, before it crossed Highway 241.

At about 6:50 Monday morning firefighters attacked the Silverado Fire in Orange County, Southern California off Silverado Canyon Road near Hicks Haul Road. Pushed by very strong Santa Ana winds, it jumped across Highway 241 threatening structures and prompting evacuations. Five strike teams of Type 1 fire engines, 25 engines, have been requested for structure protection. (see map above)

At 8:10 a.m. PDT the wind conditions made it unsafe for air tankers to work the fire.

At 8:40 a.m. the nearby Hicks Canyon weather station recorded 29 mph winds gusting around 50 mph out of the east-northeast, 60 degrees, and 10 percent relative humidity.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Silverado Fire
Silverado Fire at 8:17 a.m. PDT October 26, 2020. Looking southwest from Pleasants Peak.

Typos, let us know HERE. And, please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

5 thoughts on “Silverado Fire in Orange County, Southern California threatens structures”

  1. What are the “evacuation order” letter/number combinations? I can’t figure out what they mean. I see them on the maps, but nobody seems to list them.

  2. Here we go again folks with the west’s, annual basin & range, cyclonic & anti cyclonic wind dance, that fans flames that climate change is having on the landscape in the California’s.
    It’s a weather related dance of the eons of course, with a few factors of new human settlements & new unprecedented weather ingredients added in to the mix to make the next perfect firestorm coming to a wildland urban interface movie theatre to you sometime soon.
    We certainly haven’t been short of epic Firesign theatre in 2020, if you will.🔥😉
    Watch & wait & see where the next mega-giga sized wildfire blockbuster is going to be shown on this great news site called, Wildfire Today.
    I posted a link to a weather report for Northern New Mexico this am, to demonstrate exactly how this cyclone & anti cyclone weather dance works in real time.
    We got a little reprieve here from the intense dry spell. Is it a one shot storm event or will this current snow storm bust down the stubborn dome of high pressure that’s causing so many problems in the great west. Quien sabe?

    Thanks Bill, for all that you do here!
    Peace,
    JB

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-26/silverado-fire-ignites-in-orange-county

    https://www.google.org/publicalerts/alert?aid=642599ae18411ab5&hl=en&gl=US&source=web

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