No emergency outages after Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California fire danger warnings
A firefighter monitors the blaze from his airboat while fighting the fire in San Juan Capistrano on Wednesday.
Photographer: Andrew Toth for The Associated Press
SANTA ANA — A fire that began on the west side of the city on Saturday turned into a major event, consuming homes, burning more than 800 firetrucks and prompting multiple city orders of evacuation.
Early Tuesday morning, the Santa Ana winds, gusting up to more than 50 mph, brought with them a large wall of smoke that engulfed the city.
“We have to get people out,” Fire Chief Jeff Reiter said at his daily briefing at the fire’s peak. “We are on a full fire suppression, but we are on a full evacuation.”
The fire has destroyed eight single-family homes and two mobile homes, according to Santa Ana Fire Capt. Chris Tally. The structure destroyed on Foothill Boulevard has not been confirmed by the Orange County Fire Authority as the home of the man who was killed in the early morning shootings.
The fire was “well under control” when Southern California Edison shut off power to almost 95,000 customers in Orange County for about an hour and a half on Sunday night. The evacuation was called for by the Orange County Civil Defense, as the fire moved into Santa Ana, a city of more than 600,000 residents.
“You had a fairly substantial fire,” said Scott Jones, a public information officer for Santa Ana.
Jones said officials were preparing to begin the process of clearing the community of those left at risk. The city would be working to set up temporary housing for many of those who had to be sent to a shelter.
On Tuesday morning, as the fire threatened to become a major event with multiple explosions, fire officials said they would be keeping residents informed as the day wore on.
“We have another update that is coming in,” Jones said. “Again, those are going to be issued every 10 or 15 minutes. The plan is to keep residents updated as the situation continues to evolve.”
Shortly before the fire was declared the largest it has been since a 2011 blaze spread through the Santa Ana foothills.
“I need you to make sure your windows and doors are locked,�