Brush fire causes evacuations in Orange County

Firefighters in Orange County planned to work into Tuesday as they battled a 180-acre brush fire that destroyed two abandoned homes and forced visitors at a nearby campground to evacuate, authorities said.

The fire broke out just before 11 a.m. Monday near Santiago Canyon Road and California 241 toll road in the unincorporated Silverado Canyon area, O.C. Fire Authority Capt. Carlos Huerta said.

Flames tore through parched brush and engulfed the two abandoned homes, the only reported structural damage.

Irvine Lake campground — a popular spot for fishing and boating — was shut down, forcing about 50 people to evacuate, Huerta said. The campground was converted into a command post for firefighters.

About 15 other structures near the Santiago Canyon Landfill were threatened by the blaze, Huerta said.

About 200 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control. As of Monday evening, the fire was about 50% contained and flames were no longer spreading.

Officials credited the relatively swift containment to favorable weather conditions, including winds that averaged between 5 mph and 10 mph.

Air tankers were initially deployed to drop retardant on the blaze, but fire officials stopped the drops by the early evening as firefighters gained the upper hand.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Also Monday, flames charred five acres of brush near Jack Rabbit Trail and the 60 Freeway in the unincorporated area of Moreno Valley, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

It took 120 firefighters about two hours to fully contain the fire.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

 

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