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Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Santiago Canyon Fire 10/23 4pm UPDATE:Frustrated OC Fire Officials and Spitzer hold press conference
for complete information please also see the earlier posts below CLICK ON:
GREATER ORANGE NEWS SERVICE
Frustrated OC Fire Officials and Spitzer hold press conference
After the Santiago Fire jumped the fire line of Santiago Canyon Road, mandatory evacuation orders were issued last night for Modjeska, Williams and Silverado Canyons. A frustrated Orange County Fire Authority Chief Chip Prather gave a no-holds-barred news conference this afternoon as he related his frustration at not getting the needed air support to deal with the fire putting the blame squarely with an unprepared state bureaucracy that he contended had been warned that the perfect storm scenario now being played out was inevitable.
Prather was joined by Orange Assemblyman Todd Spitzer who also related his frustration at law makers in Sacramento who despite warnings have not provided adequate funding for preparation to deal with the current situation that has Southern California facing multiple fires and straining fire fighting resources across the state.
In the day’s events the Santiago Fire took its first homes in the populated canyons along Santiago Canyon Road. At one point firefighters had to pull out of parts of Modjeska Canyon as fire fed by unpredictable winds threatened to climb both sides of the canyon walls. Orange Unified’s Silverado Elementary School remains closed.
Fire officials are now dealing with the fact that the fires, even with the predicted change of weather, will continue through next week perhaps into November.
Laguna Beach Unified School district closed all of its schools today due to the smoke being blown to the coast creating dangerous air quality levels.
The Orange County Fire Authority also reports the following:
• Saddleback Unified School District has closed Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills Elementary Schools on Tuesday, October 23.
• Saddleback Unified School District will not be operating buses in Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills communities
• San Clemente High School and the California State Park at San Onofre are NOT evacuation shelters
Orange County Fairgrounds Full- Animals can go to Los Alamitos Raceway
KNX Radio reports Llamas have been seen running loose in the canyon areas as they escaped from their holding pens somewhere in the canyons.
• OC Fair Ground is full at this time.
• Los Alamitos Race Track can accept up to 180 horses, but they cannot accept any other type of livestock. Enter the race track at 4961 Katella Avenue in Los Alamitos. Horse owners must bring their own supplies, including food, and will have to care for their own horses. Water is available on site.
• Large animals can also be evacuated to Industry Hills Expo Center at 16200 Temple Avenue in the City of Industry. Call (626) 330-0324.
241,133, 261 Reopen
The little good news in the day included the reopening of import arterial highways, the 241, 133 and 261.