Traffic Crash Takes Out Telephone Pole, Sparks Fire in Santiago Canyon


ORANGE (CNS) - A vehicle crashed into a telephone pole and overturned in Orange this morning, sparking a brush fire that burned about five acres on the north side of Santiago Canyon.

The crash was reported about 3:40 a.m. on northbound State Route 241 near Santiago Canyon Road. The newer-model Toyota Corolla was fully engulfed in flames and sparked a fire on a nearby hillside, the California Highway Patrol said.

Eric Lopez, 26, of Orange, was booked on suspicion of DUI, said California Highway Patrol Officer John DeMatteo. Lopez, who refused to take DUI tests, was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center to be treated for a broken collar bone, DeMatteo said.

Firefighters fully contained the fire, which is expected to be less than five acres, said OCFA Capt. Paul Holaday.

“We'll continue to monitor it for any potential flare-ups,” Holaday said.

Good Samaritans helped pull the driver out, the CHP said.

Santiago Canyon Road from Loma Ridge Road to State Route 241 was closed until at least noon.

At 6:35 a.m., Caltrans reported that Southern California Edison had “de-energized various circuits in North Orange County.”

“This will have impacts to the lighting on SR-241 and SR-261,” Caltrans said in a statement. “Please drive safely and treat any flashing red signals as a stop sign.”

Edison officials said earlier in the week that the utility was considering precautionary power shutoffs to de-energize power lines in danger of being damaged or downed by strong winds, potentially sparking wildfires.

More info on the “public safety power shutoffs” program can be found at www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps.


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