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Silverado fire:
More than 90,000 people told to leave as blaze explodes to 13,354 acres
By Alma Fausto and Martin Wisckol
Staff writers
Spread quickly by strong winds, the Silverado fire ballooned Tuesday night to 13,354 acres with more residents fleeing their homes or preparing to hit the road.
The fire, burning east of Irvine, was only 5% contained as of Tuesday, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
Silverado, Modjeska and Trabuco canyons along Live Oak Canyon Road started the day under evacuation warnings. Residents in part of Mission Viejo also were told they may have to leave. By early afternoon, the warning in Modjeska Canyon turned into a mandatory evacuation. Those living in Jackson Ranch and Williams Canyon in Sil-
SILVERADO » PAGE 2

With Modjeska Peak and Santiago Peak as a backdrop, the Silverado fire continues to burn in the canyons east of Irvine before dawn Tuesday. Officials say it is only 5% contained.
MARK RIGHTMIRE — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Firefighters pour water on a still-smoldering home on Blue Ridge Drive in Yorba Linda on Tuesday. It was damaged by the wildfire on Monday.
LEONARD ORTIZ — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER



Silverado
FROM PAGE 1
verado also were ordered to go.
However, evacuation orders were lifted for all residents south of Portola Parkway and west of the 133 toll road, OCFA and Irvine police announced.
Two firefighters critically injured on Monday were fighting for their lives Tuesday, OCFA chief Brian Fennessy said at a news conference. He described the incident that led to their injuries as a “burnover,” when flames overtake firefighters or their equipment and there is no opportunity for an escape to safety.
“Both of these firefighters, I know them personally. They’re extremely strong,” Fennessy said.
More than 90,000 residents in Irvine and more in Lake Forest were under evacuation orders as of late Monday. As of late Tuesday, no structures were burned.
The firefight on the first day was hampered by the strong winds, forcing aircraft to be grounded. The gusts made water drops from the air ineffective. A large helitanker capable of dropping 3,000 gallons of water made drops overnight Monday.
Tuesday morning, air support was more involved in slowing down the spread of the blaze.
The winds that helped fuel both the Silverado and nearby Blue Ridge fire on Monday were once again blowing through the region, according to the National Weather Service, although they were expected to weaken Tuesday night.
While firefighters battled the Silverado fire throughout the day, families who'd left their homes waited for news.
Yukari Nobuhara and her family had just been settling into the West Irvine home they bought in April after a two-year search. They were remodeling to make it their own, including a new patio and a climbing wall, she said.
The call came Monday morning from her son's elementary school to pick him up. Next, the evacuating order flashed on her phone.
Nobuhara called her husband, who was in Japan on business. Then she grabbed a couple of laptop computers, a couple of photo albums and some clothes and headed to the University Community Center with her kids.
“We were worried and confused because we didn't know what was happening,” said 14-year-old daughter Risa, standing with her mom outside the center.
They spent Monday night with friends in Irvine, then went back to the center in the morning.
Dozens flocked to the center Monday, but by Tuesday there were just the three members of the Nobuhara family and a couple of others.
If the evacuation order remained, their next stop would be a hotel. She was less worried than on Monday, Nobuhara said.
“I know what’s happening now,” she said.
Jerry Mishreki stood in the park next to his home in the Painted Trails community of Mission Viejo, watching the fire helicopters sucking up water from the Upper Oso Reservoir below.
Mishreki’s own neighborhood was under voluntary evacuation orders. This is at least the third time his foothills community has been under voluntary evacuation warnings.
Once, his wife Elizabeth took the kids and went to stay at her mother’s house while, he said, “I stayed behind with the garden hose.”
In 2007, Mishreki could see the flames from his backyard, a situation he called “a little more hairy.”
“Because I’ve been through this at least twice, my level of anxiety is less. You take it as it comes,” he said.
He said he and his wife are semi-packed: Photo albums have been collected, clothes and important papers are in suitcases. Their friends in San Clemente have a guesthouse waiting if they need somewhere to stay.
“We have a plan,” Mishreki said. “We know what to do. It’s not like waking up suddenly in the middle of the night and not knowing what to do.”
Despite repeated threats from fires, he said the couple have no thoughts about leaving their home of the last 18 years.
“We love it here. We’re very blessed to be here. We would never leave,” he said.
This was the first time the Kalhoro family faced voluntary evacuations. And they were paying keen attention.
When the sheriff’s advisory came out late Monday afternoon, they began packing.
“We Googled what you are supposed to take during an evacuation,” Hina Kalhoro said.
She said their belongings were ready to be loaded into their two cars and they would probably fill both of them.
Eventually, they could see flames from their house on the north side of the Painted Trails community in eastern Mission Viejo.
“We’ve seen some smoke, but when you see the actual flames it’s completely different,” she said.
“That’s when it becomes an actual threat to your home,” said her husband, Irfan Kalhoro.
The plan was to head to her mom’s, who lives out of harm’s way in Irvine, if the evacuation became mandatory.
“We’re packed,” Hina Kalhoro said. “We’ve done everything we can do.”
Monday, several schools were evacuated and classes were let out because of the fire and poor air quality. Those closures continued Tuesday and included UC Irvine and Irvine Valley College.
Animals in facilities across the county also were affected. About 150 animals including bears and mountain lions were taken from Orange County Zoo in Irvine Regional Park to the Santa Ana Zoo. The Los Alamitos Race Course said it had room to take in displaced horses. Southern California Edison was investigating whether one of its power lines was involved in igniting the fire. The power supplier had not found that there were any downed lines in the area at the time the fire started, officials said in a notice filed Monday to the California Public Utilit ies Commission. But, according to that notice and spokesman Chris Abel, a lashing wire connected to telecommunication lines, not to Edison equipment, may have come in contact with Edison’s overhead primary conductor, and that may have caused the fire.

Firefighters work flames from the Silverado fire atop a hill above homes in Foothill Ranch where a mandatory evacuation is in place on Tuesday,
MINDY SCHAUER — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

A helicopter makes a water drop to assist ground crews battling the Silverado fire near Modjeska Canyon on Tuesday.
MINDY SCHAUER — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
 

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I wonder how bad this season would have been if you remove all the intentional fires or one started by idiots at gender reveal parties? There was a guy i sort of know who had to flee Estes park CO several days ago and went to Denver to stay with another friend. Havent heard if he's been able to go back and how his house fared but he was able to gather some valuables before leaving.
 
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