Emergency crews are responding to an expanding fire in Orange County, Calif. near Silverado Canyon, Dec. 3. Named the Bond Fire, the blaze is located approximately 18 km (11 miles) east of Santa Ana. As of midday Dec. 3, the fire was estimated to be approximately 2,913 hectares (7,200 acres) in size and zero-percent contained. Multiple structures in the region have reportedly been damaged.The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an extreme fire risk - the highest warning level - for portions of southern California, including Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Santa Paula, and Rancho San Diego. A critical fire risk - the second-highest warning level - is in place for areas including Santa Ana, Anaheim, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Irvine. Forecast models indicate warmer-than-average temperatures and strong winds will probably persist in the region over the coming days, likely hampering relief efforts.
In response to the Bond Fire, mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Black Star and Baker Canyon, Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon, Modjeska Canyon, Portola Hills North, Portola Hills South, Foothill Ranch East, and Foothill Ranch North. Voluntary evacuation warnings are also in place for Baker Ranch South, Saddleback North, Hidden Ridge and Sky Ridge, Live Oak and North Trabuco Canyon, Trabuco, Rose, Holy Jim Canyon, Lemon Heights, Lemon Heights North, and North Cowen Heights. Emergency shelters are located at Santiago Canyon College and El Toro High School.
Business and transport disruptions are likely to persist in the affected area over the coming days. Santiago Canyon Road is closed between State Route 241 and Jackson Ranch Road. Anticipate the status of nearby roads to change over the coming hours and days. Authorities could close routes within the wildfire complex and evacuated communities due to fire activity and the needs of response operations. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during re-entry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region. Power outages are also possible.
Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Charge battery-powered devices in case of prolonged power outages.
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