Evacuations Lifted as Crews Continue Battling Silverado Fire

Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Sunday night as more than 1,000 firefighters continued battling the Silverado Fire, which burned 1,600 acres of heavy brush in the unincorporated mountains of Orange County.

Evacuation orders were lifted in the area east of 30311 Silverado Canyon Road, officials said. Residents were allowed to enter their homes using Silverado Canyon Road by providing authorities proof of residence.

The fire, which burned as temperatures were expected to reach triple digits, was 50 percent contained Sunday night. Containment figures were estimated at 80 percent by Monday morning.

Fire officials were concerned that the blaze could grow with temperatures expected to reach about 102 degrees and winds blowing about 15 to 18 miles per hour, said Jake Rodriguez of the U.S. Forest Service.

Six firefighters have been injured in the blaze, mostly of heat-related issues, Rodriguez said.

The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. Friday in the 30500 block of Silverado Canyon Road in a remote part of the Cleveland National Forest, about 20 miles east of Santa Ana, officials said.

Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for 217 homes in the area Friday evening. The evacuations remained in effect Sunday morning.

An evacuation center was set up at El Modena High School at 3920 E. Spring St. in Orange.

Officials said Saturday morning that the fire began in a resident’s backyard, but details were limited.

"The fire got started off the forest, and because of the terrain and the fuels and because of the prevailing winds, it took the fire into the forest," said Chon Bribiescas of the Incident Command Team for the U.S. Forest Service. "Right now we don’t know what activity caused that."

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