A brush fire that broke out near Silverado Canyon and Santiago Canyon roads in east Orange early tonight crossed the 241 toll road and threatened homes in Irvine as it blazed across 3,800 acres, a fire official said.
Whipped by gusting Santa Ana winds, the flames burned through Hicks Canyon and headed toward the Northwood and Portola Springs residential areas, said Orange County Fire Department Capt. Stephen Miller.
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The wind-whipped blaze was reported just before 6 p.m., Miller said.
The blaze was 5 percent contained, but no homes had burned and no injuries had been reported, he said.
The fire burned through some outbuildings at the El Modeno Gardens nursery, 11911 Jeffrey Road, and was at Jeffrey Road and Portola Parkway in Irvine as of 8 p.m., where fire crews planned to make a stand, Miller said.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents on Amberhill in Irvine. A shelter was set up at the Lakeview Senior Center at and Barranca Parkway and Lake Road in Irvine, he said.
Late tonight, voluntary evacuation orders were issued for the North Tustin, Lemon Heights and Cowan Heights areas, Miller said.
Residents were being directed to the shelter at the Lakeview Senior Center.
Earlier tonight, voluntary evacuation orders were issued for the area surrounding Portola and Sand Canyon Avenue.
Residents who were not immediately impacted by the blaze were advised to stay at home with windows and doors closed because of smoke. They were also advised to prepare to evacuate, if needed.
Santa Ana winds of 35-45 mph were blowing when the fire erupted.
The 241 was shut down between the Laguna (133) Freeway and the Eastern Transportation Corridor (261), according to Caltrans.
Portola Parkway was closed between Sand Canyon Avenue and the 241, and Jamboree was closed between Chapman Avenue and Portola Parkway, fire officials said.
Portola Parkway was also closed between the 241 and the 261, according to Fullerton police.
With much of Southern California under a Red Flag warning, meaning an increased risk of wildfires because of dry and windy conditions -- and wind gusts up to 90 mph forecast for tomorrow -- brush fires were also burning in San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties, threatening structures and prompting evacuations.
One person died in one of two wildfires burning in the San Diego area, and in Malibu, a church and several homes and businesses were destroyed by another brush fire. More than 10 structures, including some homes, were destroyed by a 10,000-acre fire in Canyon Country.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the seven- county Southern California region because of the fires.