5 firefighters injured, 2 critically, as Southern California wildfire rages on


Firefighter Raymond Vasquez battles the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Five firefighters are injured, with two in critical condition, as hundreds continue to battle the wind-driven Silverado Fire in Southern California this week.

Two members of the Orange County Fire Authority handcrew remain hospitalized Wednesday after suffering second and third-degree burns, NewsNation affiliate KTLA reported.

A firefighter battles the Silverado Fire Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Three others were treated for minor injuries and have since been released.

“It’s tough for any firefighter, certainly any fire chief …, to feel this helpless when you’ve got part of our fire family fighting for their lives,” Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessey said.

The Silverado Fire broke out in gusty weather Monday near Irvine, roughly 35 miles south of Los Angeles. The blaze has scorched more than 13,000 acres, officials said.

It remains just 5% contained, as of Tuesday night.

Southern California Edison is trying to determine if one of its power lines started the massive fire that drove nearly 100,000 people from their homes in Orange County.

According to SoCal Edison’s report to state utility regulators, a “lashing wire” that ties a telecommunications line to a supporting cable may have come into contact with a separate 12,000-volt Edison conductor line above.

Herman Termeer, bottom left, takes pictures as a helicopter drops water over the Blue Ridge Fire burning along the hillside Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Chino Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

That blaze and the Blue Ridge Fire farther north in the county, which broke out several hours later in the brushy hills of Yorba Linda, kept more than 70,000 people from their homes Tuesday as winds returned.

At least 10 homes were damaged and thousands of homes remained threatened as flames moved toward neighborhoods. There was little containment of the fires, though weather conditions were improving.

Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel on Tuesday signed an emergency declaration in the region in response to both blazes.

“The County is monitoring the situation closely & is ready to assist as we face this natural disaster together,” Steel said in a tweet.

NewsNation affiliate KTLA and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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