Orange County seems on its own trying to fight fast-moving Canyon Fire No. 2 that is burning homes and forcing thousands to evacuate as CalFire’s entire capacity is deployed fighting the other 25 major fire’s burning across the state.
Canyon Fire No. 2 that started as a little brush fire this morning along the 241 toll-road was declared California’s 26th major fire at 12:30 this afternoon after running up the Anaheim Hills to burn multi-million dollar view homes and send thousands of community residents fleeing the wind-blown conflagration.
This year’s extremely wet winter raising the soil moisture content of open areas to kick-off a massive spring bloom has created the perfect combination of scrub brush, grasses, and wildflowers to fuel a firestorm.
The Anaheim Fire and Rescue has been on its own to battle the Canyon Fire No. 2 since it first was reported at 9:20 am on Monday morning. What had been a beautiful open-area green belt in the Spring, has turned to turn to the perfect brown kindling for a blaze.
The local ABC News helicopter reported at 5 pm that the fire had burnt 4,000 acres and was completely uncontained. At least five homes were burning on the ritzy Canyon Heights Drive and another seven were already lost. Gusting winds and burning embers threaten hundreds of more homes as the fire has moved down the hills toward the Riverside Freeway and into more heavily populated areas.
Other local fire departments have helped Anaheim assemble 500 firefighters. But the swirling 45-mile an hour winds have already caused at least one case of smoke inhalation, requiring a medi-lift evacuation to UCI Medical Center.
CalFire has the premier firefighting aviation program has a fleet of over 50 fixed wing and rotary wing, making it the largest department owned fleet of aerial firefighting equipment in the world. Although the aircraft is strategically located at 13 bases throughout the state, the earlier 25 major fires have resulted in all available capacity being deployed.
The County of Orange has set up shelter for evacuees at the East Anaheim Community Center, 8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road; and at Downtown Anaheim Community Center, 250 E. Center Street.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter at El Modena High School, 3920 Spring Street in Orange.