More than $215,000 raised to help firefighters injured in Silverado Fire

The two hand crew firefighters, ages 26 and 31, both suffered serious burns.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Crews continue to battle 13K-acre Silverado Fire near Irvine as some residents return home
Thousands of Irvine residents evacuated due to the Silverado Fire were returning home Wednesday morning as firefighters worked to contain the blaze, which has blackened at least 13,354 acres and is 5% contained.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A GoFundMe account quickly raised more than $215,000 to help the firefighters who were critically injured while battling the Silverado Fire near Irvine.

Two hand crew firefighters, ages 26 and 31, both suffered serious burns, OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy said during a Monday press conference.

The firefighters have 65% and 50% burns on their bodies, respectively, both second- and third-degree burns. Both were being treated at the Orange County Global Medical Center and were intubated in the ICU.

MAP: Silverado Fire evacuation zones

Amid red-flag conditions brought on by gusting winds and dangerously low humidity, a wildfire raced across terrain in the Santiago Canyon area near Irvine.

Fennessy said he visited with the injured firefighters and their families at the hospital Tuesday morning. He knows them both personally, having been the person who hired them.

"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," Fennessy said. "I'm confident that they're going to do all they can to fight through this. It's just who they are."

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Three additional firefighters suffered minor injuries, were treated at a hospital and released.

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The Silverado Fire erupted at 6:47 a.m. Monday in the area of Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon roads in the Santa Ana Mountains.

At its height, about 70,000 people were under evacuation orders in Irvine and another 9,500 evacuated in Lake Forest, according to the OCFA and Lake Forest officials.

Wednesday, thousands of Irvine residents were returning home as firefighters worked to contain the blaze. It was unclear how many residents remained evacuated.

No structures were confirmed lost, according to officials.

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City News Service contributed to this report.