News/Op-Ed: In December, Yet Another Fire Has Erupted Near Corona Municipal Airport

by Andrew Fierro

The fire erupted Corona Municipal Airport and has since grow to over 500 acres, shutting down Highway 71 and causing air-filled smoke all over Orange County. 

The fire began on Tuesday night, though it really rocketed in size on Thursday due to strong winds. As of 8 A.M. Thursday, the fire is 0% contained.

The fire, due to its size and the smokey air causing vision issues for drivers, has caused a shutdown of State Route 71 on Thursday morning. 

The winds overnight made residents near the flames, in towns like Sonora Ranch which is about 2 miles away from the fire, frightful of whether or not it was going to be able to be contained.

An evacuation order was issued for many areas including, but not limited to, Springs Court, Rock Ridge Court, and Cheyenne Road. However, those orders were lifted as of 10 P.M. 

The fire was reported first on Tuesday behind the airport at the Prado Basin and at the time of the report was at less than five acres. Though because of the strong wind and low humidity, the fire kicked up to 25 acres by Wednesday afternoon and then onto 50 later in the evening. 

So far there have been no damages or injuries reported due to the fire, though the air quality may be unsafe for some people due to the heavy smoke and wind. 

There have also been almost 200 encountered flames in the thick vegetation burning at a mild rate away from the airport. Two water-dropping helicopters were making different runs until nightfall hit, not dissolving the fire but at least slowing it.

Of course, the airport was closed because of the firefighters working on slowing and eventually stopping the fire. There has been a temporary flight restriction that covers a five-mile diameter area around the field. 

People in all areas of Orange County can go out of their homes and see the heavy smoke in the sky, which was very predominant in the morning and the smoke scent is still heavy, which for some people may be unsafe to go out in. 

Though it is not contained, it is slowing and the firefighters are doing their best to keep it from getting worse and too close to towns and cities. 

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