Firefighters have begun making some progress in containing both the Silverado and Blue Ridge wildfires in Orange County, California, though neither is expected to end anytime soon.
The Silverado Fire near Irvine has grown to over 13,000 acres in size and has been 25 percent contained, according to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), while the Blue Ridge Fire near Yorba Linda has grown to over 14,000 acres and is 16 percent contained.
Over 1,300 fire personnel are working both fires, according to the OFCA.
The Irvine Police Department announced on the afternoon of Oct. 28 via Twitter that all mandatory evacuations for the city due to the Silverado Fire had been lifted, and people should find all utilities working when they return home.
According to the OFCA, 70,000 Irvine homes and another 8,000 in nearby Lake Forest had been under mandatory evacuation orders a day earlier.
A few pockets throughout the county remained under evacuation orders, according to the county’s emergency public information map.
Irvine Unified School District held another emergency non-instructional day on Oct. 28, with no word yet on what the rest of the week will look like for schools in the district.
Road closures for the Silverado Fire included parts of the 133 Toll Road, the 241 Toll Road, and the 261 Toll Road.
Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, noted in its Oct. 28 update that the Silverado Fire threatens 69,058 properties, although no structures have been damaged so far.
A few evacuation centers for residents needing to leave their homes due to the fire still remain open, including Santiago Canyon College, Norman P. Murray Community Center, and Quail Hill Community Center.
For the Blue Ridge Fire, evacuations for residents in Yorba Linda, Chino Hills, Olinda Ranch, and Brea continue to remain in place.
One structure has been destroyed and seven others damaged due to the blaze, according to the Cal Fire report. The fire also currently threatens 20,099 homes.
On the afternoon of Oct. 28, new road closures were added in Yorba Linda due to the fire, including Via Del Agua, Stonehaven Drive, and Avenida Adobe, all at Yorba Linda Boulevard, as well as Avenida Adobe at New River Road.
Road closures previously in place include northbound 71 at the 91 Freeway, southbound Euclid at the 71 Freeway, Santiago Canyon at Ridgeline, and the northbound 241 Freeway at Alton.
The Placentia-Yorba Linda School District reportedly returned to its typical instructional schedule on Oct. 28 after having an emergency non-instructional day on Oct. 27.
Evacuation centers available for those affected by the Blue Ridge Fire include the Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House in Yorba Linda and the Brea Community Center in Brea.
As a result of the fires and high winds, multiple Orange County cities ranked in the top 10 most polluted U.S. cities on Oct. 27, according to IQAir. The cities included Fullerton, Seal Beach, and Anaheim at #8, #9, and #10 respectively.
As of Oct. 28, they no longer rank in the top 10, although a smoke advisory warning was still in effect for areas of Irvine, Lake Forest, and Yorba Linda.
The City of Anaheim on Oct. 28 reopened its COVID-19 testing super site at the Anaheim Convention Center, but the testing super site in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Fair & Event Center remained closed due to poor air quality.
Another testing kiosk at Anaheim City Hall announced that it would remain closed on Oct. 28 and Oct. 30 due to the fires.
Firefighters reported on Oct. 28 that they’ll continue to reinforce existing fire control lines, and will work to establish more of them.
Neither fire is expected to be fully contained until Nov. 10, according to Cal Fire.