Two firefighters critically burned on Monday while battling the Silverado fire are “fighting for their lives,” Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said Tuesday, Oct 27.
The two men, ages 26 and 31, were part of a hand crew working near where the fire started, the chief said. They both had second and third-degree burns.
Fennessy said both the firefighters had been with the Orange County Fire Authority for less than one year. One of the men had burns on 65% of his body while the other had burns on 50%, the chief said.
“Both of these firefighters, I know them personally. They’re extremely strong,” Fennessy told reporters at a news conference.
“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,” he said.
Three other firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the Silverado fire, Fennessy said, but they all were treated and released.
Though authorities would not release any details as to what led to the two being critically injured, the chief said an accident review team from the state was requested to investigate the incident.
“It’s still an active investigation,” the chief said.
By Tuesday afternoon, the Silverado fire had grown to 12,600 acres.
The fire was first reported at Santiago and Silverado Canyon roads just before 7 a.m. on Monday and grew quickly with the strong gusts of wind that passed through the region most of Monday. Soon after, neighborhoods in Irvine were ordered to evacuate, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing their homes. Some of the evacuations were lifted Tuesday afternoon.
Source: Orange County Register