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Bond Fire up to 40% contained; 5 structures destroyed

With cooperative weather conditions overnight, fire crews battling the Bond fire in Silverado Canyon increased containment to 40% and held the spread of the blaze, authorities said on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The fire, which sparked about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday night from a house fire, has destroyed five structures and damaged five more, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Paul Holaday said Saturday morning, adding that damage assessment was ongoing.

The fire remained at 7,375 acres as of 9 a.m., Saturday, and 1,588 firefighters were on hand to battle the blaze with 11 helicopters, OCFA officials said.

“We’re making great progress on this fire,” Holaday said in a briefing. “We had favorable weather throughout the night and got a lot of work done.”

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Crews were expecting another day of dry conditions and low humidity, though a Red Flag Warning for windy conditions expired Friday night, officials said.

Two firefighters who were injured battling the blaze had been released from the hospital. Both work with the U.S. Forest, Cleveland National Forest officials said, adding one was treated for a leg injury and the other sustained minor bruises.

Officials Friday said they opened a criminal investigation at a home in the 29000 block of Bond Way, where the fire started, but they did not say why the investigation was initiated. The cause of the house fire had not yet been announced.

Evacuation orders remained in place Saturday for canyon communities, including Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon and Modjeska Canyon. Evacuation orders were lifted in Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills, but Lake Forest remained under evacuation warning, officials said.

Red Cross evacuation centers have been set up at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, 25255 Toledo Way, and El Modena High School in Orange, 3920 E. Spring St.

However, fire officials recommended evacuees stay with family or friends or in a hotel as no lodging was made available due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Fire officials planned a 3 p.m. community briefing for canyon residents at the Library of the Canyons, 7531 E. Santiago Canyon Rd. The meeting would be recorded and posted on social media, where officials would field further questions from those who cannot attend, Holaday said.

After igniting Wednesday night, the fire quickly expanded to 6,400 acres Thursday, forcing 25,000 residents to evacuate their homes. Some relocated to an evacuation point at Santiago Canyon College, which later was moved to El Modena High.


Source: Orange County Register

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