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More than 20,000 still under Bond fire evacuations as decreasing winds help slow blaze

By Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters on Friday were continuing to battle a wind-whipped wildfire that exploded in Orange County after igniting late Wednesday.

The Bond fire began as a "fully engulfed house fire" in the 29000 block of Silverado Canyon Road, according to Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy.

Gusty Santa Ana winds pushed flames into surrounding hillsides, where they met bone-dry vegetation that fueled the fire's rapid growth.

At least two firefighters were injured in the fight, and "a number of houses were damaged, potentially destroyed," Fennessy said during a news conference Thursday. The precise number of damaged homes is still being assessed.

Officials initially said the fire had burned through 7,200 acres but later downgraded that number by nearly 1,000 acres after more accurate mapping. As of Friday morning, the blaze had burned 6,400 acres and was 10% contained, according to OCFA Capt. Thanh Nguyen.

"Firefighters last night were able to take advantage of the wind dying down, so that gave us an opportunity," Nguyen said. "Their main focus last night was to get all the hot spots they could find and continue to improve the fire line and close it up. I suspect we're going to see some number changes as far as containment goes today."


Approximately 25,000 residents were evacuated Thursday as the fire spread.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for Modjeska Canyon, Williams Canyon, Silverado Canyon, Black Star and Baker canyons, Portola Hills and portions of Foothill Ranch, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Several areas remain under voluntary evacuation warnings as well.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in Lake Forest, north of Alton Parkway, east of the 241. Residents can check the latest evacuation information here.

Nguyen said more than 500 firefighters from 30 agencies were on the fire lines Friday, including nine helicopters.


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