SILVERADO CANYON (CBSLA.com) — Orange County fire crews Friday were battling a 1,600-acre brush fire in Silverado Canyon of the Cleveland National Forest.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered at 6 p.m. for residents in the east end of the 30500 block of Silverado Canyon Road, according to officials.
By 8 p.m., resident from about three dozen homes were evacuated from the area; however, some residents refused to follow orders.
Around 280 firefighters remained on scene, launching back fires to burn out areas that could have potentially caught fire.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler spoke with Battalion Chief Mike Petro Friday evening to learn what progress has been made toward containing the fire.
“The effort is to keep this fire and hit it hard tonight,” Petro said. “We’re expecting to double the amount of resources and make as much progress as we can tonight before it gets warm tomorrow.”
The fire was reported around 10:30 a.m. in the 30000 block of Silverado Canyon Road, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Capt. Larry Kurtz.
Kurtz said that the growth in the fire was expected; however, the Orange County Health Department issued a warning for high risk patients who were bothered by thick smoke.
Potentially record-setting temperatures in the area made the fire fight difficult. Luckily, there is no wind to contend with, Kurtz said.
According to authorities, the fire was turning away from Orange County and seemed to be burning in Riverside County through the Cleveland National Forest throughout the day.
“The fire is currently running north, northwest, away from residents and any inhabitable buildings,” said Petro. “We expect the winds to calm down through the evening and the humidity to come up somewhat. That will aide our efforts in fighting the fire.”
According to officials, residents that live near the bottom of the basin were prevented from returning to their homes for about three hours. Around 2 p.m., authorities allowed most of the residents back into the area.
Santiago Canyon Road, between Live Oak Canyon and the 241/261 interchange, has been closed in the Cleveland National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service was being assisted by multiple agencies including CAL FIRE, officials said.
Oak Glen and Pilot Rock inmate crews from the Inland Empire also assisted with tackling the blaze from the ground.
Authorities had two helicopters and six fixed-wing aircraft assisting from overhead.
Two DC-10 air tankers circled overhead as they made their first water drops just before 5 p.m.
According to fire officials, an air attack is underway, and crews are using night vision technology. Fire engines remained in driveways to protect structures in the area as a precaution in case containment lines don’t hold.
Multiple homes are scattered throughout the remote area. No structures have been threatened by the fire, officials said.
Authorities believe the blaze may have started in a back yard but are still investigating.
Cleveland National Forest sprawls over the rugged peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains straddling Orange and Riverside county line southeast of Los Angeles.