World News – United States – California wildfire kills two firefighters seriously, forces 60,000 to evacuate


A swift, windswept wildfire left two firefighters seriously injured and forced an estimated 60,000 residents of a Southern California suburb to evacuate Monday, as huge swathes of the Golden State were left without power in an effort to avoid further flames, officials said

Firefighters, aged 26 and 31, were injured in the fight against the Silverado fire, which had charred at least 4,000 acres in and around the community of Irvine, southeast of Los Angeles, said the Orange County Fire Authority

Firefighters – two of around 500 trying to contain the out-of-control blaze – suffered second and third degree burns to 65% and 50% of their bodies, the authority said Both were intubated

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said the incident was under investigation He said strong winds prevented planes from dropping retardant and water on the blaze, making ground crew firefighters like the two injured essential to extinguish the flames

« It’s a tough fire, where we have very strong winds, very low humidity, » he said. « Our firefighters are some of the bravest, if not the bravest in the world »

Nearly 60,000 people, living in 20,000 homes, are within range of the blaze and have been ordered to evacuate Firefighters face steady winds of between 20 mph and 30 mph , with gusts of up to 65 mph, authorities said

« It was completely terrible, » UCI graduate student Vanessa Montellano, 23, told NBC News, describing the scene outside her apartment on Monday morning « I was like wow, the sky was orange, the sun was bright red, the tree was swaying It was almost not real »

Thomas Anthony, a 32-year-old resident of Irvine, was woken up by the sound of high winds in the middle of the night before waking up to a strong smell of smoke

The sights, sounds and smells of a major fire escape was a heartbreaking experience for Anthony, his wife, their 1.5 year old son and their puppy

« Dude, that sounded like armageddon to be honest, » Anthony told NBC News after taking safe refuge with in-laws 30 miles away in Downey « It could have been the end of the world if that was really what was happening »

These winds are crazy! Never seen anything like it! People have packed their cars with loved ones including animals And of course we are stuck in traffic because everyone is trying to get away and not burn #silveradofire #SantaAnaWinds picTwittercom / BCvnw2JG0k

Abnormally hot, dry temperatures and high winds across California have led to power outages planned to limit the threat of electrical wires causing wildfires

Another blaze burning north of Irvine, the Blue Ridge Blaze, also forced evacuations on Monday The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said anyone north of a major highway passing by from Yorba Linda, a town of 67,000 inhabitants, should leave immediately

According to an incident report from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the blaze was 200 acres without containment

About 355,000 homes and businesses served by San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric were in darkness Sunday and Monday, affecting about one million Californians, officials said

Meanwhile, closer to the Silverado fire, nearly 20,000 homes and businesses were without power for safety around noon Monday, according to Southern California Edison The company said it plans to cut power for an additional 105,000 customers

Silverado, emergency evacuation, Irvine, Wildfire, Orange County Fire Authority, Southern California

World news – United States – California wildfire kills two firefighters seriously wounded and forced 60,000 to evacuate


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