Blue Ridge Fire in Yorba Linda grows to 6,600 acres; more than 15,000 people evacuated

Wildfires

A wind-driven fire burning in Yorba Linda Monday prompted the evacuation of more than 15,000 people in the area, officials said Monday.

The Blue Ridge Fire grew to 6,600 acres just after 11 p.m., more than doubling from 3,000 acres by 8:30 p.m., and from around 1,100 acres at 4:30 p.m. The blaze was 0% contained, according to firefighters.

A total of 4,688 homes, or about 15,330 people, were covered by a mandatory evacuation order Monday night. Another 2,850 people were under an evacuation warning, the Chino Valley Fire District said in a tweet.

Previously, fire officials had said that 70,000 homes were evacuated during the emergency, but later revised that figure. Yorba Linda has a population of about 67,650, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The flames were reported shortly after 1 p.m. on the eastern edge of Yorba Linda, near Blue Ridge Drive and Big Horn Mountain Way, Cal Fire said in tweet.

Residents north of the 91 Freeway and east of Gypsum Canyon were asked to leave their homes Monday afternoon, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The area included Bryant Ranch Elementary. Students, who had returned for in-person instruction, were bused to nearby Esperanza High School where parents picked them up, officials said.

Later, fire officials said the Hidden Hills community of Yorba Linda was also under evacuation.

As of 11 p.m., evacuations were ordered for all of Carbon Canyon from the county line to Summit Ranch, on both the west and east sides of Carbon Canyon Road, OCFA said.

At least two homes sustained heavy damage from flames, video from the scene showed.

Many residents stayed behind to try and protect their homes themselves.

Displaced residents could go to the Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House at 4701 Casa Loma Ave. in Yorba Linda.

Small animals could be taken to O.C. Animal Care Services at 1630 Victoria Road in Tustin.

The blaze was burning in rugged terrain and threatening power lines in the area, aerial video from Sky5 showed. Just before 4 p.m., the blaze was burning dangerously close to train tracks, as a freight train appeared to be stalled in the area.

The Richard Nixon Foundation said it was working to protect “Yorba Linda’s most famous building,” the birthplace of President Nixon.

The home is on the grounds of The Richard Nixon Library & Museum, which is on the west end of the city and not within the area under evacuation.

Crews on Monday were also working to control the Silverado Fire in Irvine, which has grown to 7,200 acres and was also being fanned by gusty Santa Ana winds.

Authorities grounded all air units fighting the Silverado Fire due to dangerous winds, but officials said that a DC-10 air tanker was making water drops on the Blue Ridge Fire at some point.

On the ground, Orange County firefighters were assisted by the Ventura County Fire Department as well as the L.A. city and county agencies.

Crews were expected to work on the blaze overnight.

Click here for an evacuation map of the fires currently burning in Orange County.

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