The Airport Fire, which erupted on the north side of Corona Municipal Airport, grew to 750 acres Thursday evening, but containment increased to 10%.
The blaze was reported shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday within the Prado Reservoir bordering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the Corona Fire Department and Riverside County Fire Department, which were in unified command.
Nearly 200 personnel from both departments were sent to the location and encountered flames in thick vegetation, burning at a moderate rate away from the airport. Five Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters made runs on the fire until nightfall, slowing its progress.
Several structures were threatened, but crews prevented the flames from causing damage, according to reports from the scene.
By 6 p.m. Wednesday, the fire had burned 50 acres and was 0% contained, fire officials said. At about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, officials reported that the fire had grown to 105 acres and was still 0% contained. A tweet later that morning mistakenly said the fire had been 10% contained, but was apparently deleted shortly after.
By 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the fire was 10% contained and had grown to 750 acres, according to the Cal Fire.
The blaze started in the same general area as a small fire that began in the predawn hours and was contained Wednesday morning. There was no word on whether the two are connected, or what might have sparked either blaze.
The airport was shut down because of the firefighting activity, and a temporary flight restriction was imposed, covering a five-mile diameter space around the field and up to 5,000 feet.
State Route 71 was closed in both directions between the Riverside (91) Freeway and Pine Avenue, as were the eastbound and westbound connectors to the 71 from the Riverside Freeway.
At about 10 p.m. Wednesday, the Riverside County Fire Department announced evacuation warnings were lifted for residents living on:
— Big Springs Court;
— Rock Ridge Court;
— Cheyenne Road;
— Homestead Road;
— Holster Street;
— Lone Tree Street.
The department warned residents that conditions can change quickly and urged them to monitor social media for any additional updates.
Crews were expected to remain on the fire lines throughout the day Thursday. The cause of the fire is being investigated.