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Blue Ridge Fire Chars 14,000 Acres in Yorba Linda and Chino Hills

What to Know

  • One home was destroyed and seven were damaged in the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Orange and San Bernardino counties.
  • The fire is burning in the Chino Hills and Yorba Linda area.
  • About 20,000 structures remain under threat, but calmer winds are in the forecast Wednesday.

A brush fire that was fanned by strong winds earlier this week in northeastern Orange County has burned more than 14,300 acres, damaged seven homes and destroyed one residence.

The Blue Ridge Fire was 16-percent contained early Wednesday. The acreage burned was lowered Tuesday night from about 15,200 earlier in the day, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Steve Concialdi.

Initially called the Green Fire and later renamed the Blue Ridge Fire, the blaze was reported at 12:55 p.m. Monday adjacent to the Green River Golf Club, just off of Green River Road and the 91 Freeway in Corona, according to the Corona Fire Department.

Evacuations have been ordered in 5,958 homes in Chino Hills and 2,500 in Yorba Linda. In Brea, 276 homes were ordered evacuated, 680 homes voluntarily evacuated and no homes were damaged there, officials said.

Flames from two small spot fires jumped the 71 Freeway Tuesday, but were quickly extinguished, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Jason Fairchild.

Winds diminished overnight, a god sign for firefighters as they work to increase containment lines. Calmer conditions are expected Wednesday after powerful wind gusts whipped flames early Tuesday.

“All of the sudden it was like, zoom,” said Marybeth Lozano, a Chino Hills resident. “The flames were huge. It was right above our house.”

The flames were huge. It was right above our house.

Chino Hills resident Marybeth Lozano

The Blue Ridge Fire is one of two major fires burning in Orange County. The Silverado Fire forced tens of thousands of evacuations after it broke out Monday. Two firefighters remains hospitalized after suffering burns.

Historically, October is one of the worst months of the year for wildfires in California, due in large part to months of dry conditions and strong fall winds. But in 2020, the state has already seen five of its six largest wildfires during August and September.

As of Sunday, there were 20 major wildfires burning in California. More than 4 million acres have burned this year, far surpassing any previous yearly total on record.

Evacuation Orders

Brea and Chino Hills officials were handling evacuation orders, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Thanh Nguyen said.

“We’re trying to organize it so it’s one central point of information,” Nguyen said.

The OCFA issued evacuation orders about 11 p.m. Monday for residents living in thousands of homes in the following areas:

  • The Hidden Hills community and Yorba Linda, north of the 91 Freeway, east of Gypsum Canyon.
  • All of Carbon Canyon from the county line to Summit Ranch in Chino in San Bernardino County.
  • Homes on both the west and east sides of Carbon Canyon Road, including Sleepy Hollow, Oak Tree Downs, Pine Valley Estates, Western Hills and Summit Ranch to the west of Chino; Valley Springs, Carriage Hills and Old Carbon Canyon Road to the east.

Mandatory evacuations were issued just after midnight Tuesday by Brea city officials for residents in all of Carbon Canyon, east of Brea Hills to the county line, including the Olinda Village and Hollydale neighborhoods, and voluntary evacuations were urged for the Olinda Ranch and Brea Hills areas.

Temporary evacuation points in Orange County were at the Brea Community Center, 695 Madison Way; Santiago Canyon College, 8045 E. Chapman Ave.; Woodbridge High School, 2 Meadowbrook, Irvine; Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo; El Toro High School, 25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest, and Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House, 4701 Casa Loma, Yorba Linda.

The Brea Community Center, El Toro High School and Lasorda Field House were open around the clock while the others were open until 9 p.m., but Woodbridge High will be open overnight if needed.

At about 2 a.m. Tuesday, an evacuation warning was issued by Los Angeles County officials for an area south of Diamond Bar, bordered by Grand Avenue to the north, Diamond Bar Boulevard to the west, the Los Angeles/Orange county line to the south and the Los Angeles/San Bernardino county line to the east.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued at 4:25 a.m. in the San Bernardino County city of Chino Hills for residents south of Soquel Canyon Parkway, including the entire area of Bell Ridge Drive and Golden Terrace Drive on the west to Misty Hill Drive on the east.

Also under a mandatory evacuation order are communities north of Soquel Canyon Parkway at Pipeline Avenue, west of Wickman Elementary School, including homes on Winged Foot Way, Pebble Beach Lane, Singing Hills Drive, August Drive and Firestone Lane.

Evacuation orders issued Monday night included all Carbon Canyon from the county line, west of Sleepy Hollow to Summit Ranch on both the north and south sides of Carbon Canyon Road and the Village Oaks area, west of Peyton Drive near Bayberry, including Oak Creek Road, Oak Canyon Drive and Oak Crest Drive and the entire Vellano community. The evacuation order includes Sleepy Hollow, Hill of Hope, Hillcrest, Oak Tree Downs, Pine Valley Estates, Western Hills Estates, Valley Springs/Western Hills Oaks, Carriage Hills and Old Carbon Canyon Road to the south.

An evacuation warning was issued about 1:25 a.m. for residents in the Butterfield Ranch, west of Butterfield Ranch Road, south of Pine Avenue to the 71 Freeway.

There were no evacuation orders or warnings for Corona, according to the OCFA.

The head of the fire entered Orange County about 1:20 p.m. Monday, and the flames raced toward Yorba Linda, posing a threat to scores of residences.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was secured Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The grant will assist local and state agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75% reimbursement of their eligible firefighting costs.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel signed an emergency declaration Tuesday and asked the governor to sign one as well for the county to free up more funding.

The Santa Ana Zoo was sheltering about 150 animals from the Orange County Zoo in Irvine Regional Park that were moved out because of wildfires.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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