A wildfire that erupted on the north side of Corona Municipal Airport remained at 750 acres Friday morning, as containment increased to 15% and state Route 71 remained closed in both directions.
The non-injury blaze dubbed the Airport Fire was reported shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday within the Prado Reservoir bordering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Nearly 200 personnel from several area fire 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 were assigned to the firefight.
Several structures were threatened, but crews prevented the flames from causing damage, according to reports from the scene.
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. Caltrans crews were set to repair guardrail damage and other issues due to the blaze on Friday, but offered no estimated reopening time.
It took about five hours on Wednesday for the brusher to char 50 acres. By Thursday morning, it had devoured 105 acres, and by Thursday evening, it had grown substantially to 750 acres, according to the county fire department.
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.
The cause of the fire was being investigated.
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