Santiago Fire UPDATE: Final 10% May Be Contained Soon, Unless Returning Santa Anas Cause More Havoc

“We want to deal with the fire on our terms,” said Russ Copp, a safety officer with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team. “Once we start dealing with the fire under fire’s terms, you start reacting to issues and that’s when you get into trouble.”

As of today according to The Register and US Forest Service, only 10 percent of the stubborn fire remained out of the control of fire crews late Thursday. However, the anticipated reappearance today of the bone dry wind gusts that originally blew the Santiago fire quickly out of control has fire officials wary. The inferno has burned more than 28,000 acres, destroyed 15 homes and damaged nine others in its 13 gruesome days of existence.

Now due to the continued threat to the canyon areas, Baker Canyon, Santiago Canyon, Siverado Canyon, and Williams Canyon are still under mandatory evacuation. Also, a red flag warning will be underway beginning tomorrow for the canyons due to warmer conditions, humidity falling below 10%, and wind gusts possibly reaching 45 mph this weekend. Now there is a benefit in the Santa Ana winds returning this weekend, as the fire is blown back toward already charred areas and the fire loses its fuel and its way. However, there is also a chance that new fires can be started due to the dry, hot, windy conditions ideal for wildfires to start and grow. And because of that chance of new fires, evacuation orders remain in place for the canyons and the red flag warning is in place for tomorrow and Sunday.

Please stay tuned here at The Liberal OC for updates as we continue to watch the Santiago Fire as well as any Santa Ana conditions that could put as at risk for new fires. And whatever you do this weekend, please stay safe.