first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Orange County fire officials estimated this morning firefighters could have the fire fully contained by Sunday. A reward of $250,000 has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever started the fire. Anyone with information about the fire’s origins was urged to call (800) 540-8282. Orange County Fire Authority Chief Chip Prather has asked that an estimated 30-40 people who were in Black Star Canyon shooting still photos and video of the fire between 5:55 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 21 — around the time officials believe it was deliberately set — submit their pictures and footage to investigators. The photos or video may contain images that could help investigators catch whoever started the blaze at two ignition points. Authorities, who said they are investigating some 700 tips about the fire, have also asked for help in tracking down a pickup truck seen in the area when the fire started. The driver of the truck — described as a 1998-2004 white Ford F-150 pickup with chrome tubular running boards — is a “person of interest,” Prather said earlier. SANTA ANA – The arson-set Santiago fire continued to threaten 200 homes today and mandatory evacuations remained in effect in the canyon areas of Silverado, Black Star and Baker, authorities said. But more than 3,000 residents have been allowed to return to their homes in the canyon areas of Modjeska, Trabuco, Glen Ranch, Live Oak and Santiago, state fire officials said. As of this morning, firefighters estimated 75 percent containment on the 28,445-acre blaze. But there was concern that the weather, which helped firefighters over the weekend, could turn threatening once more with a return to windy conditions, officials said. In addition to pressing forward in the arson investigation, authorities are also bracing for potentially devastating post-fire erosion, Prather said. “Be patient with us because part of what we’re trying to do is make sure that after this fire is out, the mudslides don’t come,” Prather said. “And so we’re trying to save as much of the vegetation on those hillsides as possible to keep that community safe for the long term.” Prather told reporters his crews had been in a sprint since the fire broke out a week ago Sunday east of Irvine, fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds, and “now we’re in the marathon.” Prather said “that marathon includes trying to prepare the community for the next emergency. And that will be to rehabilitate that area and limit to any extent we possibly can the potential of a mudslide, and threat and risk to people and property in the future.” Meanwhile, firefighters continued trying to block the blaze from crossing a mountain ridge into Riverside County. Now in its tenth day, the fire has blackened 28,445 acres of foothills, canyons and mountains, destroyed 15 homes and eight outbuildings, damaged nine residential structures and 12 outbuildings, and forced scores from their homes. Eight firefighters have been reported injured in the Santiago Fire. There are 1,833 fire personnel assigned to the fire, which so far has cost an estimated $9 million to fight. Crews were being aided by “forgiving” weather, as one fire authority spokeswoman put it, but remain concerned that winds could whip up again to rekindle the flames. Over the past few days, firefighters have worried that coastal winds could blow the fire downhill into the Corona area if it crossed the ridge, which also marks the line between Orange and Riverside counties. Hand crews and bulldozers have carved a pair of parallel fire breaks both on the ridge and at the fire’s northeast edge, generally a mile southwest of the ridge. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more