Blue Ridge Fire grows to 14,334 acres as flames threaten Yorba Linda homes

The Blue Ridge Fire has burned at least 14,334 acres and damaged 10 homes in the Yorba Linda area, as thousands more remain under evacuation orders.

ByMarc Cota-Robles, Rob McMillan, and staff KABC logo
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
10 Yorba Linda homes damaged in massive Blue Ridge Fire
The Blue Ridge Fire has burned at least 15,200 acres and continues to threaten homes in Yorba Linda, fire officials say.

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (KABC) -- A brush fire that rapidly spread to at least 14,334 acres at 0% containment is threatening homes, triggering thousands of mandatory evacuations in Yorba Linda and Chino Hills, and for a number of homes in Brea.

By Tuesday afternoon, shifting winds led to the fire jumping the 71 Freeway south of Chino Hills and the freeway was closed in both directions. Officials initially listed the fire at about 15,200 acres, but then lowered it Tuesday night.

The Blue Ridge Fire initially broke out just before 1 p.m. Monday in the area of Green River Road near the Green River Golf course and the 91 Freeway, near Chino Hills State Park. It was initially named the Green Fire and then changed to the Blue Ridge Fire, for Blue Ridge Drive in Yorba Linda.

Fire officials say the fire poses an immediate threat to residences in Yorba Linda. The blaze also made a push toward Chino Hills, but no homes were damaged.

The Blue Ridge Fire has burned at least 15,200 acres and continues to threaten homes in Yorba Linda, fire officials say.

Firefighters lit a back fire in Chino Hills just west of Butterfield Ranch Road Tuesday morning. The winds calmed down, so fire crews are taking advantage of the conditions to try and clear out dry grass and brush behind homes.

"It looks bad, but I feel like they're doing the right thing. They're going to burn this, get rid of this vegetation so the real fire can't come and just take out the house," said Chino Hills resident Marcia Carrillo.

They lit another back fire closer to the freeway to help clear out fuel there as well.

Tuesday afternoon, California Highway Patrol shut down southbound lanes of the 71 to make a clear path for fire units.

The dry Santa Ana winds were initially blowing from the northeast. By the afternoon, the winds started coming from the west, blowing the fire to the east. But by that point, the back fires had removed much of the fuel, preventing the wind shift from exacerbating the situation.

Ten homes have been damaged in the Yorba Linda area, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. At least one single-family home was seen damaged from flames as AIR7 HD flew over the area. Flames approached within less than 100 feet of other homes.

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The memento they prayed for is a portrait of a cemetery, where they buried their baby boy who died just 24 hours after being born 20 years ago. That painting was spared from the wildfire.

Evacuation orders were issued for Yorba Linda neighborhoods north of the 91 Freeway, east of Gypsum Canyon including Bryant Ranch Elementary school, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The Hidden Hills neighborhood of Yorba Linda was also added to the evacuations.

"Anyone in the affected area should evacuate immediately," the OCSD tweeted.

The sheriff's department estimated about 4,000 properties, with 10,000 people, were evacuated in Yorba Linda, but OCFA officials did not say how many homes were under mandatory evacuation.

The Brea Police Department alerted residents at about 9 p.m. to a mandatory evacuation order for people in the areas of Hollydale and Olinda Village in Carbon Canyon. Residents are asked to leave westbound on Carbon Canyon. A voluntary order was in place for the communities of Brea Hills and Olinda Ranch.

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More than 70,000 Orange County residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes as a wind-whipped wildfire that severely injured two firefighters continued to rage Tuesday at 5% containment.

Chino Valley Fire officials Monday night issued a mandatory evacuation for all of Carbon Canyon, from the county line to Summit Ranch on both the west and east sides of Carbon Canyon Road. The area includes Sleepy Hollow, Oak Tree Downs, Pine Valley Estates, Western Hills and Summit Ranch on the west, and Sleepy Hollow, Valley Springs/Western Hills Oaks, Carriage Hills and Old Carbon Canyon Road on the east.

At about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Los Angeles County officials issued an evacuation warning for residents in an area of Diamond Bar, bordered by Grand Avenue to the north, Diamond Bar Boulevard to the west, the Los Angeles/Orange county line to the south and the Los Angeles/San Bernardino county line to the east.

An evacuation warning was issued about 1:25 a.m. Tuesday for residents in the Butterfield Ranch, west of Butterfield Ranch Road, south of Pine Avenue to 71 Freeway.

Around noon on Tuesday, an evacuation warning was issued in Yorba Linda for homes north of Fairmont Boulevard, east of Quarterhorse Drive and west of Shadow Oak Drive.

There are no evacuation orders or warnings for Corona, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Blue Ridge Fire evacuation map

Please note the map may take some time to load. The map can also be seen at this link.

Authorities had not yet established an evacuation shelter but said small animals could be brought to OC Animal Care Services, 1630 Victoria Road, Tustin.

The county's Emergency Operations Center Hotline phone number is (714) 628-7085.

Firefighters were seen going through those neighborhoods off Brush Canyon Drive, including Early Star Way and Morning Dew Way, telling residents to evacuate.

Most packed up their things and left the area.

"This is apocalyptic," said neighborhood resident Gabriel Sanchez. "The skies are turning a different color orange. It's frightening. My daughter was so frightened. I'm glad she's safe now."

A few residents chose to stay behind, even grabbing shovels themselves to help put out smaller spot fires that were breaking out on a hillside behind their neighborhood.

Also, Santiago Canyon College told students classes would be canceled for the day because of the fire.

A blaze known as the Green Fire is burning at least 200 acres in the Corona area and advancing toward homes in Yorba Linda, fire officials say.

The fire broke out on a day of intense Santa Ana winds throughout Southern California that triggered a red-flag warning for the area. Other fires around the region, particularly in Orange County have spread rapidly and some areas are seeing gusts in excess of 50 mph. Temperatures are cool, but humidity is very low in the brush.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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