Silverado Fire: Critically hurt O.C. firefighters were trapped between 2 spot fires

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Firefighters stand ready to protect structures in Irvine’s Orchard Hills neighborhood from the Silverado fire.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Firefighters stand ready to protect structures in Irvine’s Orchard Hills neighborhood from the Silverado fire.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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