90,000 people told to evacuate because of wildfires in Southern California

Not only is a winter storm impacting over 15 million from the deserts to the Plains, but also record cold, near record heat, West Coast wildfires and a tropical system aiming for US shores. CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri breaks it all down.

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 5:11 AM
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 5:11 AM

A wildfire that nearly quadrupled in size Monday, prompted tens of thousands of people to evacuate and caused two firefighters to suffer critical injuries may have been started by a power company's equipment.

Southern California Edison said a power line may have played a role in the ignition of the Silverado Fire -- which has burned 7,200 acres near Irvine -- a report filed with California Public Utilities Commission shows.

The initial safety incident report describes overhead electrical facilities in the area where authorities think the fire started, but notes there was no activity on the circuit.

"We reported the incident despite seeing no activity on the nearby 12-kV circuit nor any downed power lines because it appears that a lashing wire attached to a telecommunications line may have contacted SCE's power line above it, possibly starting the fire," SCE spokesman Chris Abel told CNN.

The fire grew to its present size in less than a day, sending families in Southern California communities into searches for the safety of friends' homes, hotels or evacuation centers.

Because of the blaze and the new, 3,000-acre Blue Ridge Fire, Orange County Officials told 90,000 people to evacuate.

Fire officials said 700 people are battling the two fires, and on Monday two of them were critically injured.

The men suffered second- and third-degree burns while battling the Silverado Fire near Irvine, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy told reporters.

Fennessy visited the injured firefighters in the emergency room, but was unable to talk with the firefighters, as each is intubated.

"They were not in a position where they could speak with me," Fennessy said. "Our firefighters are some of the bravest in the world. This is a very hazardous job."

The unidentified men, ages 26 and 31, are part of Orange County Fire Authority's ground crew. The team uses hand tools to stop wildfire flames from progressing, much like hotshots.

Dry conditions, low humidity and windy weather have prompted planned power shutoffs.

There are nearly 320,000 customers without power this evening, according to PowerOutage.US.

The bulk of the customers are managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for Northern California and Southern California Edison.

Flames and smoke force family to turnaround

Jesse Strickland and his family were among the tens of thousands to evacuate from the Silverado Fire and now his security camera might be the first clue to whether his house has damage.

Strickland and his wife on Monday morning loaded up their two children and three pets into the SUV. As they drove away from their Irvine home, Strickland recorded the orange glow of the fire peeking through thick smoke about 1 mile from their home.

Strickland was forced to turn around and honk his horn as he drove back the way he came to find another route, the video posted to Instagram shows.

"We, fortunately, evacuated earlier this morning around 10ish. Took extra time to get on the freeway but was not too bad as they are now," he said.

The family along with their dog, chinchilla and bearded dragon are at a family friend's house in Chino Hills.

"So far so good," he told CNN.

He said the kids, a 12-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son are fine.

"We are doing well. I think that we were well-prepared and didn't overact in front of our children so they seem to be handling it fine," Strickland said.

Fire officials said Monday afternoon that no structures have been lost to the fire.

College cancels campus activities

The University of California, Irvine suspended all campus operations due to hazardous smoke and ash, university officials announced. Only essential employees -- including those who work in housing and dining -- should report to campus. All other employees were urged to stay or return home.

The inferno began as a vegetation fire at about 6:47 a.m. local time Monday in the area of Santiago Canyon Road and Silverado Canyon Road, according to the city of Irvine.

"The fire started in Silverado Canyon, and helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are on the way," Mayor Christina Shea said in a news release. "The wind is making it move very quickly."

Videos posted by the authority show high winds whipping the flames into a frenzy in burned-out areas.

Fennessy said earlier the blaze was a "major fire" and was moving southwest at a quick pace.

"Our priority right now is getting people evacuated and out of the path of the fire," he said.

Irvine listed six community centers where care and reception facilities were set up; as of Monday afternoon, three were listed as full.

The Silverado Fire comes as the state and region are under major fire risks from hot, dry weather. More than 25 million people are under red flag warnings in California and the Southwest, including San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Cal Fire said Monday that more than 4,000 firefighters are working to fully contain 22 large wildfires in the state in what has already been a historic fire season across the western US.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 609016

Reported Deaths: 7741
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1261631795
Ramsey52955910
Dakota47198475
Anoka43176465
Washington27637296
Stearns22651227
St. Louis18233319
Scott17667139
Wright16506153
Olmsted13495103
Sherburne1211496
Carver1073349
Clay829392
Rice8247111
Blue Earth769244
Crow Wing687298
Kandiyohi669685
Chisago626754
Otter Tail589887
Benton585098
Goodhue485474
Mower477333
Douglas477281
Winona463252
Itasca462668
Isanti445066
McLeod433861
Morrison427462
Beltrami410163
Nobles409650
Steele400519
Polk390772
Becker389157
Lyon365054
Carlton356858
Freeborn350134
Pine337223
Nicollet333845
Mille Lacs314556
Brown308640
Le Sueur299427
Todd288033
Cass287933
Meeker265144
Waseca240723
Martin236833
Roseau212021
Wabasha20833
Hubbard197641
Dodge18883
Renville183046
Redwood177941
Houston175316
Cottonwood168124
Wadena164923
Fillmore158910
Faribault156920
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec147828
Sibley147310
Aitkin139137
Watonwan13619
Rock129019
Jackson123112
Pipestone117126
Yellow Medicine115320
Pope11366
Murray107210
Swift107218
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89217
Marshall88817
Lake84020
Wilkin83713
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49022
Unassigned47993
Red Lake4037
Traverse3815
Lake of the Woods3474
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
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Albert Lea
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Austin
Mostly Cloudy
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Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
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Charles City
Clear
72° wxIcon
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Feels Like: 72°
The heat will stick around this weekend
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