The wildfire crisis has just hit a new level as blazes continue to rage across Southern California. A new fire, which began Tuesday has nearly doubled in size overnight and is forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. The state’s utility companies are again coming under scrutiny for their potential role in sparking new blazes.
Southern California Edison said its equipment may have played a role in starting one of the fires, the Silverado Fire, which had churned through about 13,000 acres in Orange County.
“It’s tough for any firefighter, certainly any fire chief, to feel this helpless when you’ve got part of our fire family fighting for their lives,” the OCFA Fire Chief told reporters at a news conference.
As of Tuesday night, no structures have been lost or damaged, according to Cal Fire, and more than 1,200 fire personnel are working on the blaze.
Two firefighters were critically injured in the blaze and are “fighting for their lives,” Chief Brian Fennessy said in a news conference on Tuesday.
The Orange County Zoo in Irvine Regional Park, which is under a mandatory evacuation order due to the Silverado Fire, had to evacuate its animal population.
Winds are still expected to cause rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior, though they’re not as strong as they were on Monday when a gust to 96 mph was measured in Los Angeles County and gusts up to 88 mph buffeted areas near Fremont Canyon.
We will definitely keep our eyes and ears on this as it continues