The so-called Bond Fire erupted about 40 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles in Silverado Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains on Wednesday night, the Orange County Fire Authority said as it issued a string of mandatory and voluntary evacuation edicts.
Residents were ordered to evacuate parts of Orange County in Southern California early on Thursday morning as a wildfire that ignited overnight grew to nearly 4,000 acres, driven by strong winds.
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It began as a house fire on Silverado Canyon’s Bond Road that was spread by strong winds into nearby dry vegetation, Captain Paul Holaday, a spokesman for the authority, told reporters on Thursday.
The authority urged people to shelter in hotels or with friends or family as there were no congregant shelters being arranged because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
About 500 firefighters were working on the Bond Fire on Thursday morning, the authority said, none of which had been contained so far.
Since the start of the year, wildfires have scorched more than 6,500 square miles (17,000 square km) of California land according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The state has grappled with fires of record-breaking intensity and size in recent years, exacerbated by climate change. The yearly land area burned by severe wildfires in the western United States has grown eight times larger in less than four decades, the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station said in research published last month.