Santiago Incident Wildfire, October 2007

This page is an archive of information about the Santiago Incident Fire near Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, El Toro and Rancho Santa Margarita in October 2007. At the time, there were a number of fires burning across Southern California and getting specific information about this fire proved difficult. Many people filled the information vacuum by posting individual accounts and details which surpassed anything found in the newspapers, tv or radio.

A special thanks to all the firefighters whose tireless work saved countless homes and communities. For those whose homes could not be saved, I offer my deepest sympathy.

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Orange County Public Information Hotline – (714) 628-7085

As of November 8th, the Santiago Fire was 100% contained but continued to burn in the Cleveland National Forest.

OC Fire Authority: Santiago Incident Report updated periodically (last update 7:20 AM 10/27/07)

  • cause: Arson (OCFA Arson Tip Line: (800) 540-8282)
  • approximately 28,400 acres burned
  • at one point nearly 2000 firefighters were fighting on this fire.
  • Several hundred OC Sheriff and CHP officers also assisted.
  • 8 residential structures damaged and 15 destroyed

The fire is officially referred to as the Santiago Incident, ORC 0706855.

At least one additional USFS Hotshot Crew was transferred down from from Santa Barbara Tuesday morning. Thanks to Daniel for the information, his son Ben is one of those firefighters.

Joel’s October 24th post to Twitter seemed to mark a turning point, “The fire has burned out of our district, to the east and to the north. Nothing left to burn if it turns around….” It would seem that Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills are through the worst of this.

At its closest point, the fire was about a mile away, and upwind, from my parents’ house in north Irvine.

Evacuation Information

Several communities were evacuated during the fire. These included Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, parts of Lake Forest, and Silverado and neighboring canyons.

Location & Maps

The best maps have turned out to be annotated Google maps, both of these were continually updated:

Santiago Incident Map annotated by Craig L. Duerr.

The OC Register also kept a map of the Santiago Fire.

October 4, 2007 OCFA map, (PDF, 544k)

Santiago Incident Fire Map

Earlier OCFA maps:

Other Map sources

Blogs, photos and forums

Photo by atharkhan

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Lots more video on YouTube: Irvine fire, Santiago Fire, Portola Fire

News Sites

Aside from the OC Register, early coverage of this fire has been lousy to non-existent. I’m only posting links to stories which add something new, most of what I’ve read has been useless dramatizing of the OCFA releases.