Disasters & Accidents

Fire near LA rages across more than 5,100 hectares in little over 24 hrs

Los Angeles, US, Oct 27 (efe-epa).- A rapidly advancing fire near Los Angeles has burned more than 5,100 hectares since it broke out on Monday, forcing the evacuation of more than 90,000 people, according to authorities on Tuesday.

The Silverado fire broke out on Monday morning in Orange County, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Los Angeles.

The fire brigades have managed to contain only 5 percent of the Silverado fire, which grew overnight to 5,100 hectares (12,600 acres) by Tuesday afternoon, according to Orange County Fire Authority.

Officials ordered around 91,000 residents to immediately leave their homes between Monday and Tuesday in and around the city of Irvine.

Eight facilities have been set up to house residents who have had to flee their homes.

The blaze also reached a highway, which was immediately closed by the authorities, and caused the power outage of some 120,000 homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the region, strong winds of up to 80 miles per hour, and dry air from the desert, helps the fires to spread quickly and are difficult to contain.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning from Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon in parts of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties amid dangerous conditions.

Although the cause of the fire is yet to be known, some media have indicated that authorities are investigating whether a “lashing wire” attached to a telecommunications line struck a conductor, igniting the flames.

So far two firefighters have suffered second- and third-degree burns and are in critical condition, according to the Los Angles Times citing OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy on Tuesday. Three others have sustained minor injuries. No residence or building has been set alight.

It is expected that strong winds, of up to 50 miles per hour, could also hit Malibu and the Hollywood Hills, in Los Angeles, and Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California, in the coming hours. EFE-EPA


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