Some of Alberta’s largest wildfires from 2019 were extinguished this fall

After burning for about 18 months

Alberta fires of 2019 extinguished fall of 2020

Alberta Wildfire posted the above on November 3, 2020.

The Chuckegg Creek Fire in the northwest part of the province burned 820,000 acres according to Wikipedia. It apparently burned for about 18 months. Fires burning in heavy fuels can sometimes continue smoldering in roots or stump holes under a blanket of snow throughout the winter, then emerge in the spring or summer.

wildfires in Northern Alberta May 28, 2019 Satellite photo
Satellite photo showing the location of wildfires in Northern Alberta May 28, 2019. Click to enlarge.

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Overwhelming support for two firefighters injured at Silverado Fire in Southern California

How you can help

ICP for Silverado & Blue Ridge Fires
Incident Command Post for the Silverado & Blue Ridge Fires Oct. 29, 2020, by OCFA.

The fire family at Orange County Fire Authority is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that people in the community are demonstrating for the two injured firefighters. The department has received numerous requests to help the injured men.

The OCFA Hand Crew Firefighters suffered severe burns on Monday, October 26 while battling the Silverado Fire. They remain intubated in critical condition with second and third degree burns over 50-65% of their bodies. Out of respect of the wishes of both families, no additional details are currently being shared on the condition of their sons.

For those who wish to help, there are two ways to make a monetary donation to support the costs associated with the long healing process of these burn victims, and to support their families:

Wildland Firefighter Foundation. You can choose “yes” to dedicate the donation as a gift to someone, then, for example, you can specify the two firefighters critically injured at the Silverado Fire.
www.Wffoundation.org

Fallen Firefighters Relief Fund. Created October 28, 2020 by Orange County Local 3631 as a fundraiser “in support of two firefighters critically injured while protecting our community battling the Silverado Fire.”
www.gofundme.com/f/orange-county-ca-firefighters

If you would like to send cards or letters to support the two men and their families, here is the address:

OCFA
Attn: Injured OCFA Hand Crew Firefighters
1 Fire Authority Road
Irvine, CA 92602

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Orange County’s Silverado Fire similar to 2007 Santiago Fire

The two Southern California fires had comparable footprints after burning for two days, and there are other similarities

Silverado and Santiago Fires
Silverado and Santiago Fires

There are similarities between the Silverado Fire that has been burning since Monday in Orange County, California, and the Santiago Fire of 2007.

  • They started near the intersection of Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon roads.
  • They both started in late October, the 21st and 26th.
  • After spreading for two days, their footprints were similar.
  • They burned with a Santa Ana wind during drought conditions.
  • Firefighters were entrapped on both fires. Two suffered serious burns and are still hospitalized from the Silverado Fire. On the Santiago Fire twelve had to deploy fire shelters for protection from the flames, but there were no injuries.

While the Santiago Fire was burning there were nine other ongoing major fires which set up a competition for firefighting resources. The spread of this year’s Silverado Fire was essentially stopped after two days, but in 2007 there were not enough hand crews, engines, air tankers, and helicopters to keep it from crossing Santiago Canyon Road on day three when the wind shifted to come out of the west. After that, it got into steeper slopes with heavier vegetation in the Cleveland National Forest, and eventually burned twice as much as the Silverado Fire, 28,517 acres (as of Oct. 29, 2020) vs. 13,390 acres.

Santiago Fire, October, 2007
Santiago Fire, October, 2007. From the After Action Report.
Silverado Fire map, October 28, 2020.
Silverado Fire map, October 28, 2020.

The causes appear to be very different. An arsonist used an accelerant to start the Santiago Fire in two places. In spite of an Investigation Task force consisting of 160 persons from the Orange County Fire Authority, FBI, ATF, and the Sheriff’s Department, and a $250,000 reward, an arrest was never made.

Southern California Edison said it is investigating whether electrical equipment may have caused the Silverado fire. The company reported to the state Public Utilities Commission that a “lashing wire” attached to a third-party telecommunications line may have struck a primary conductor.

The 136-page After Action Report for the Santiago Fire is available on Orange County’s website.

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Two fires in Orange County, Calif. have burned over 27,000 acres

Update on the Blue Ridge and Silverado fires

Updated October 29, 2020   |    8:16 a.m. PDT

The map shows the perimeters of the Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires, mapped between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. PDT Oct. 28, 2020. You can zoom in and move around on the map.

Evacuation updates from the Orange County Fire Authority at about 4 p.m. October 28:

Blue Ridge Fire:
•All evacuation orders and warnings related to the Blue Ridge Fire have been lifted effective immediately.

Silverado Fire:
•All evacuation orders are lifted in the City of Irvine
•Some evacuation zones still remain in place for the City of Lake Forest
•Some evacuation zones are lifted for unincorporated areas of Orange County near El Toro Road and Valley Vista

Refer to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department interactive evacuation map for details.

Southern California Edison said it is investigating whether electrical equipment may have caused the Silverado fire. The company reported to the state Public Utilities Commission that a “lashing wire” attached to a third-party telecommunications line may have struck a primary conductor.


October 28, 2020   |    11:16 a.m. PDT

Map of Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires
Map of Blue Ridge and Silverado Fires Oct 28, 2020

On Tuesday firefighters working on the two large wildfires in Orange County California had their hands full doing their best to contain the Silverado and Blue Ridge Fires.

Strong winds pushed the Blue Ridge Fire west where it approached Gas County Road on the east side of Yorba Linda, and also to the north toward Chino Hills and Soquel Canyon Parkway. As the wind direction shifted during the day firefighters on the east side battled, mostly successfully, to keep it from crossing Highway 71 just north of Highway 91.

The Silverado Fire near Irvine has remained west and south of Santiago Canyon Road. Firefighters conducted a firing operation overnight on the southeast side of the fire.

Tuesday night after 11 p.m. the wind decreased substantially and there was very little significant spread of either fire the rest of the night.

The two fires are being managed under one organization by CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 6 that assumed command at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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

The latest mapping shows the Silverado Fire at 13,354 acres and the Blue Ridge Fire at 14,334 acres.

The map below shows heat detected by an aircraft on the Blue Ridge Fire in Orange, County, California at 10 p.m. PDT Oct. 27, 2020. Most of the vegetation is light, such as grass or brush, and cools a few hours after burning. The fire perimeter is not shown. Yellow is scattered heat, red is isolated heat, and the small brown area is intense heat. You can zoom in and move around on the map.

Status of the two injured firefighters

The two firefighters that were seriously injured Monday on the Silverado Fire, suffering second and third degree burns, are still in critical condition. Their names have not been released. The firefighters were intubated when they were admitted to the hospital, but they are still fighting, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Finnessy said Wednesday morning.

I asked the Chief if there was an address to which we could send cards or letters to the firefighters and their families.

“The families would be so grateful to receive cards or letters,” the Chief said. “They are just now realizing how the fire and aviation family comes together during times like this.”

Here is the address:

OCFA
Attn: Injured OCFA Hand Crew Firefighters
1 Fire Authority Road
Irvine, CA 92602

Let’s flood them with kindness, cards, and letters.

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