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SANTA ANA – Residents of most of Orange County’s canyon areas, with the exception of Silverado, were allowed back to their homes today, as firefighters maintained 65 percent containment on the 28,400-acre Santiago arson blaze. The Orange County Fire Authority opened the canyon areas of Modjeska, Trabuco, Glen Ranch, Live Oak and Santiago — from the north and south openings — and residents were being escorted in, Chief Chip Prather announced. Some 3,000 people, including residents of the still off-limits Silverado, live in those areas, according to the OCFA. Those returning to their homes must show identification to sheriff’s deputies posted at checkpoints, and returnees were being asked to remain on their property and not venture to other affected areas or the Cleveland National Forest that remains closed. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Roadblocks will be maintained by local law enforcement, according to the OCFA. Prather also 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 it was deliberately set, to submit their pictures and footage to investigators. Those people are not considered suspects, he said, but may have captured something that will help investigators catch the arsonist or arsonists who started the blaze from two ignition points. Authorities, who are chasing down some 700 tips from the public, asked for help on Friday 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 F150 pickup with chrome tubular running boards — is not a suspect at this time, but rather a “person of interest,” the chief said earlier. Prather said this morning that firefighters are keeping their eye on future problems as they try to take care of immediate business. “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. 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 that 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.” He 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.” Firefighters, meanwhile, continued working to block the blaze from crossing a mountain ridge into Riverside County and hoped to have it contained within the next three to four days. Now in its eighth day, the fire has injured eight firefighters, blackened 28,400 acres of foothills, canyons and mountains, destroyed 15 homes and nine outbuildings, damaged eight residential structures and 12 outbuildings and forced scores from their homes. There are 1,732 fire personnel assigned to the fire, which so far has caused an estimated $8.5 million to fight. Crews were being aided by “forgiving” weather, as one OCFA spokeswoman put it, but remain concerned that winds could whip up again to rekindle the flames. Over the past few days, firefighters had 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!