Two Orange County firefighters critically injured last month while battling the Silverado fire were overrun by flames that were ignited when their own crew set a defensive blaze, according to a preliminary report of the incident.
In a Green Sheet report summarizing serious injuries on fire incidents, investigators detailed how the two firefighters were part of a team of eight who suddenly became trapped between two spot fires on Oct. 26.
The firefighters were positioned uphill of an ongoing “firing operation,” or a relatively small, defensive fire that crews use to burn vegetation and possibly alter the path of larger, uncontrolled wildfires.
Crews had set the defensive fire at the bottom of a slope, in dry creek bed. The expectation was the fire would burn along the creek bed, but also uphill where it would be stopped by a bulldozed containment line before reaching the firefighters.
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