Santiago Fire UPDATE: Fire Lurching Toward Riverside County & South OC


“The Orange County fire hasn’t crossed into Riverside County yet,” Nugent told a few residents prior to the meeting, “It’s burning about 3.5 miles from the county line. Winds are favorable but the air quality is poor.” 

Here’s the latest news on the Santiago Fire, courtesy of The Register and The US Forest Service. Firefighters had to retreat overnight after the Santiago Fire suddenly began to climb up the slopes of the Santa Ana Mountains. The firefighters had to leave last night, as they could not risk being trapped by the fire with only an uphill escape route. Fortunately they were able to return several hours later, after the fire had calmed down.

The Santiago Fire grew another 1,000 acres overnight, bringing its overall size to around 27,000 acres. And now, one of the directions the fire seems to be moving is toward Temescal Valley in Riverside County. Fire officials said it could cross the Riverside County line within 24 hours, but there have been no evacuation orders issued for any community in Riverside County.

And while the fire moves east, it’s also moving southeast. This means that Rancho Santa Margarita and Coto de Caza may be at risk, as the fire may reach RSM city limits within the next 48 hours. Still, no evacuation orders have been issued for RSM either. For now, mandatory evacuations are only in effect for Silverado, Modjeska, and Trabuco Canyons. And due to the very poor air quality in South County, all schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Capistrano Unified School District remain closed. And all individuals with breathing problems in Orange County are advised to limit outdoor activities due to the poor air quality.

Please stay tuned here at The Liberal OC for the latest updates on the California Wildfires. If the fire threatens any new communities, we’ll let you know.