By: City News Service
A wind-driven brush fire that broke out on the west end of Corona in Riverside County and quickly spread into Orange County — threatening homes in Yorba Linda and blackening 15,200 acres — was 0% contained Tuesday.
Initially called the Green Fire and later renamed the Blue Ridge Fire, the blaze was reported at 12:55 p.m. Monday adjacent to the Green River Golf Club, just off of Green River Road and the Riverside (91) Freeway, according to the Corona Fire Department.
Ten homes were damaged in the blaze, but the location and extent of damage were not immediately available, according to the Orange County Fire Authority, which added that more than 1,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.
Evacuations have been ordered in 5,958 homes in Chino Hills and 2,500 homes in Yorba Linda. In Brea, 276 homes were ordered evacuated, 680 homes voluntarily evacuated and no homes were damaged there, officials said.
Unlike most of the day Monday, firefighters on the ground were expected to get help from helicopter water drops on Tuesday as the intense winds have lessened, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Thanh Nguyen said.
“It’s windy, but not as bad as yesterday,” Nguyen said.
There have been several water drops from the sky for the Silverado Fire on Tuesday, Nguyen said.
Firefighters are not concerned the two blazes will merge, Nguyen said.
“Unless we had some weird weather pattern I don’t see them catching up to each other,” Nguyen said.
As the San Bernardino County city of Chino Hills moved to get residents out, some complained about difficulties understanding what areas were covered by the evacuation order just before 9 a.m.
“Post a map of the areas that need to evacuate,” TheDudeAbides1998 replied on Twitter to the City’s evacuation announcement. “The site is NOT working and this post is not helpful.”
User Angela Villalpando seemed to be experiencing a similar concern.
“Please post an updated map of the areas,” Villalpando wrote. “You keep telling people to go to the site, but it isn’t updated, and it’s lagging because everyone is trying to see if they are evacuated.”
The miscommunication appeared to be due to specific evacuation boundaries not appearing as text along with the interactive map showing the area covered by the order.
Brea and Chino Hills officials were handling evacuation orders, Nguyen said.
“We’re trying to organize it so it’s one central point of information,” Nguyen said.
The new evacuations follow ones announced by the OCFA at about 11 p.m. Monday for residents living in thousands of homes in the following areas:
— The Hidden Hills community and Yorba Linda, north of the Riverside (91) Freeway, east of Gypsum Canyon
— All of Carbon Canyon from the county line to Summit Ranch in Chino in San Bernardino County
— Homes on both the west and east sides of Carbon Canyon Road, including Sleepy Hollow, Oak Tree Downs, Pine Valley Estates, Western Hills and Summit Ranch to the west of Chino; Valley Springs, Carriage Hills and Old Carbon Canyon Road to the east
Mandatory evacuations were issued just after midnight by Brea city officials for residents in all of Carbon Canyon, east of Brea Hills to the county line, including the Olinda Village and Hollydale neighborhoods, and voluntary evacuations were urged for the Olinda Ranch and Brea Hills areas.
At about 2 a.m. Tuesday, an evacuation warning was issued by Los Angeles County officials for an area south of Diamond Bar, bordered by Grand Avenue to the north, Diamond Bar Boulevard to the west, the Los Angeles/Orange county line to the south and the Los Angeles/San Bernardino county line to the east.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued at 4:25 a.m. in Chino Hills for residents south of Soquel Canyon Parkway, including the entire area of Bell Ridge Drive and Golden Terrace Drive on the west to Misty Hill Drive on the east. Also under a mandatory evacuation order are communities north of Soquel Canyon Parkway at Pipeline Avenue, west of Wickman Elementary School, including homes on Winged Foot Way, Pebble Beach Lane, Singing Hills Drive, August Drive and Firestone Lane.
Evacuation orders issued Monday night included all Carbon Canyon from the county line, west of Sleepy Hollow to Summit Ranch on both the north and south sides of Carbon Canyon Road and the Village Oaks area, west of Peyton Drive near Bayberry, including Oak Creek Road, Oak Canyon Drive and Oak Crest Drive and the entire Vellano community. The evacuation order includes Sleepy Hollow, Hill of Hope, Hillcrest, Oak Tree Downs, Pine Valley Estates, Western Hills Estates, Valley Springs/Western Hills Oaks, Carriage Hills and Old Carbon Canyon Road to the south.
An evacuation warning was issued about 1:25 a.m. for residents in the Butterfield Ranch, west of Butterfield Ranch Road, south of Pine Avenue to Chino Valley (71) Freeway.
There were no evacuation orders or warnings for Corona, according to the OCFA.
The high winds grounded aircraft used to battle fires for most of the day, but by late Monday afternoon, a DC-10 was up in the air making air drops in Yorba Linda, Fennessy said.
“But we’re also told we can expect (winds) to increase in the early morning hours until they die off sometime tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon,” OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy said.
On Monday, multiple engine crews including some from the Riverside County Fire Department encountered flames moving rapidly west up a hillside, powered by 30 mph Santa Ana winds.
The head of the fire entered Orange County about 1:20 p.m. Monday, and the flames raced toward Yorba Linda, posing a threat to scores of residences.
By Tuesday morning Chino Hills authorities said they were hopeful about the response since winds are predicted to average around 10 miles per hour with gusts of only 20 miles per hour. That means water bombers could be used if conditions don’t deteriorate, the spokesperson said.
There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.
A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was secured Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The grant will assist local and state agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75% reimbursement of their eligible firefighting costs.
Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle