Containment of a 250-acre wildfire that started south of Corona had grown to 45 percent Saturday as hundreds of firefighters spent their third day battling a blaze that had threatened homes and prompted evacuation orders — all of which have been lifted.
The non-injury “Skyline Fire” was reported shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday in the area of Skyline Drive and Burrero Way, at the foot of the Cleveland National Forest, according to authorities.
The fire was not advancing past its perimeter as of Saturday morning, allowing firefighters to navigate the steep terrain to improve fire lines and mop up the fire area.
An evacuation order that went into effect two hours after flames erupted impacted multiple streets. However, most evacuees were permitted to return to their properties by about 10 p.m. Thursday.
By Friday morning, the order only applied to nearly 50 homes in the Mabey Canyon and Orchard Glen communities. Public safety officials announced Friday afternoon that all residents could return, though police were checking identification at several access points to ensure no one attempted to go into homes under false pretenses.
Foothill Parkway was reopened by noon Friday, after police had shut it down between Lincoln Avenue and Paseo Grande for firefighting activity.
Corona Fire Department personnel took command on the fire lines Friday from Riverside County Fire Department staff, who were originally coordinating resources because the blaze broke out in an unincorporated swath bordering the national forest.
Along with county and Corona crews, Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service and Riverside Fire Department personnel were deployed, with more than 400 firefighters working to contain the brusher. Numerous air tankers, two water-dropping helicopters and eight bulldozers were also making runs on the blaze.
A house on Trudy Way was in the path of the fire in the first two hours, and crews established a protective shield around the property, sparing it from damage. Other properties were threatened by the flames, leading officials to issue the evacuation order.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.