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  • Firefighters working in Yorba Linda, California, U.S., Oct. 26, 2020.

    Firefighters working in Yorba Linda, California, U.S., Oct. 26, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @KRNV

Published 27 October 2020
Opinion

At least 60,000 people have been evacuated in Irvine City so far. Some roads and school campuses were shut down due to the wildfire.

Fast-moving wildfires have left two U.S. firefighters critically injured and forced thousands of residents in Orange County in California to evacuate amid high winds on Monday.

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One blaze, dubbed "the Silverado Fire," which started Friday morning in the area of Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road, has exploded to over 7,200 acres in hours.

A total of 500 firefighters are battling on the scene amid erratic winds that can reach up to 96 km to 112 km per hour. Officials said that air support has been grounded due to high winds.

According to the Orange County Fire Authority, two firefighters, aged 26 and 31, were critically injured fighting the blaze at noon, and both are currently intubated in the ICU.

"We are asking everyone to comply with the evacuation orders for their safety and the safety of our first-responders. The City of Irvine continues to open care and reception facilities for our displaced residents," Mayor Christina Shea said and confirmed that at least 60,000 people have been evacuated so far.

Some roads and school campuses in the area were shut down due to the wildfire. Both Irvine Unified and Tustin Unified School District schools will be closed on Tuesday. Video from the scene showed the area was blanketed by heavy smoke and fire raging along roads.

A second blaze, dubbed "the Blue Ridge Fire," started at noon spread to 1,120 acres at zero containment as of Monday evening.

A total of 1,651 homes have been affected by the fire, including 1,170 homes under evacuation orders and 481 homes under voluntary evacuation. At least 200 are battling the fire. Officials said that one home had been reportedly damaged by the blaze and they were still waiting on verification of the extent of the damage.

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