Cooler weather brought on by onshore winds helped more than 1600 firefighters knock down the “Canyon Fire 2” that ravaged the Orange County hillsides around Anaheim, Tustin, and Orange Monday and Tuesday.
Fire officials have achieved 45% containment, having curtailed the fire’s perimeter at 8,000 acres. Full containment is expected sometime on Saturday, Oct. 14.
The blaze is credited with the destruction of 15 structures, with 12 listed as damaged, according to the most recent estimate by authorities, but that number is expected to grow.
Unlike the massive conflagration that has engulfed a number of Northern California counties — where 17 are dead and over 250 missing — the Orange County firestorm thankfully has not caused any human casualties. However, three people are reported to have been injured.
The National Weather Service is reporting temperatures will likely be in the 70s, with moderate to light winds in the 5 mph to 10 mph range — a welcome respite from the Santa Ana winds that turned parts of California into a hellish inferno earlier in the week.
The Orange County Register reports that there is even more favorable weather coming to aid firefighters in completely containing this fire:
“Cooler temperatures overnight have moderated fire behavior,” fire officials said in a Wednesday morning update. “On-shore winds and the return of the marine layer will bring decreased fire behavior.”
The humidity is expected to be around 60 percent Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, and temperatures should be in the mid-70s in the Anaheim and Orange areas where the fire has been burning for the last three days.
Crews faced their toughest challenge on the eastern flank, the rugged and remote terrain near the Cleveland National Forest, according to Captain Larry Kurtz with the Orange County Fire Authority.
Evacuations for most areas were lifted on Tuesday at 7:00 pm PDT, with authorities saying they expect to lift the remaining evacuation orders later in the day, according to Los Angeles NPR station (89.3 KPCC).
In all, the Canyon Fire 2 has been fought by 13 helicopters, over 240 engines, and more than 1,600 firefighters. Five air tankers are continuing to drop water and flame retardant.
Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and Author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless. He also ran for governor in 2014.
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