YORBA LINDA, CA — With more seasonal weather on tap for California this past week, firefighters were able to reach 80 percent containment on the Blue Ridge Fire as of Saturday morning. The fire scorched 13,695 acres, destroyed one structure and damaged 10 others.
The fire broke out Monday after California experienced an intense Santa Ana windstorm. The blaze covered ground quickly, fanned by winds, and sent nearly 8,500 households fleeing from their homes.
"Firefighters continue to make progress adding an additional containment line," according to a statement from Cal Fire. "Crews will work through the evening mopping up and patrolling the fire area."
All evacuation orders and warnings were lifted Thursday morning and several highways were reopened.
Evacuations were initially ordered for 5,958 homes in Chino Hills and 2,500 in Yorba Linda. In Brea, 276 homes were ordered evacuated, 680 homes voluntarily evacuated, officials said.
And although firefighters gained 80 percent containment, full containment was not expected until Nov. 10, according to Cal Fire.
Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy praised firefighters from Los Angeles County for their help.
"More than 52 agencies have come to our aid," Fennessy said.
The help from Los Angeles County and Los Angeles city fire departments "absolutely saved us for the Blue Ridge Fire in Yorba Linda," Fennessy said.
Roads in the area reopened Thursday, Cal Fire said.
The brush fire, initially dubbed the Green Fire, was reported at 12:55 p.m. Monday next to the Green River Golf Club, off Green River Road and the Riverside Freeway in Corona, according to the Corona Fire Department.
Chino Valley Fire contacted Bravo Burgers in Chino Hills asking if they could assist in providing meals to the first responders working the Blue Ridge Fire. Staff arrived at 2AM to make 800 breakfast burritos. Thank you for going above and beyond! pic.twitter.com/NrYE0Lat5x
— Curt Hagman (@curthagman) October 31, 2020
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 hundreds of residences.
Another fire, the Silverado Fire, ignited the same day and separated tens of thousands of Orange County residents from their homes.
A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was secured Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which will assist local and state agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75% reimbursement of their eligible firefighting costs.
Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel signed an emergency declaration Tuesday and asked Newsom to sign one as well for the county to free up more funding.
Due to the wildfires, the Santa Ana Zoo was sheltering about 150 animals from the Orange County Zoo, located in Irvine Regional Park.
Animals were also being sheltered at the OC Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa and at the Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress.
The City News Service contributed to this report.