The Baker Fire in the Silverado Canyon area, east of Irvine (Orange County) is up to 50 acres on Monday afternoon, and is 50 percent contained.
About 270 firefighters are battling the fire. Blackstar Canyon Road was closed to traffic in the area.
The fire is burning amid red flag (hot and dry) conditions after starting at about 10:10 a.m. PDT Sunday in a large mulch pile at Aguinaga Green Co in the 27900 block of Baker Canyon Road, fire officials said.
On Monday morning, the Orange County Fire Authority said via Facebook that the mulch fire is still burning. “Smoke is in the air. It may irritate people with asthma.”
Firefighters have contained 50 percent of the blaze, up from 20 percent on Sunday night and 40 percent on Monday morning.
“Crews are still watching the mulch fire,” said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority, reported the Orange County Register. “The cooler temperatures and higher humidity are helping.”
One firefighter was hospitalized with an ankle injury. A barn was damaged.
The fire could potentially grow to a couple hundred acres.
An evacuation center at El Modena HS 3920 E Spring St. in Orange County was established for residents impacted by the fire, but was shut down as of 9:15 p.m. PDT on Sunday.
Six homes in the Baker Canyon area, as well as the people in the RV Park, are under voluntary evacuations, Concialdi said via Twitter on Sunday at 5:51 p.m. Residents who evacuated are still not allowed back in to their homes.
Chay Peterson, a 52-year-old and a Silverado resident since 1987, told the Orange County Register that she remembers the 2007 fire that destroyed homes in Silverado.
“This sends some people into a semipanic mode and others into a heightened awareness,” she said.
On the other hand, Diana Good said that the fire didn’t seem that bad.
“This is not so bad compared to (the fire from) three years ago,” Good said, referring to a similar fire in 2010. “We were out for two weeks with no way in because the fire went over the road. This one is localized, it’s not as windy and it’s on private property.”
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