On Saturday, the 18th of April, 2015, in the evening, a massive fire broke out in Dam Prado Dam Flood Control Basin north of the city of Corona, in Southern California. According to officials at the Riverside County Fire Department, the fire occurred because some trees started burning in the forested basin. The flames spread rapidly and soon afterwards, at least 75 acres of terrain were ablaze.
A spokeswoman for the fire department, Jennifer Furham stated that the fire was reported near the freeway junction of Highways 71 and 91, at about 6.12 p.m. At least six fire brigades, including Cal Fire, the Riverside County Fire Department and the Corona Fire Department, sent their firemen to deal with the situation. More than 200 firefighters arrived at the site shortly after the call. In order to fight the huge flames, two air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were used. According to Capt. Mike Mohler of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection., the fire touched 175 acres and threatened more than 200 homes on Homestead Road, Bluff Road and Stagecoach Drive, on the border of Norco and Corona. This situation prompted the residents of around 300 houses to evacuate their homes to avoid the danger of being caught in the fire brush. The evacuations were mandatory for all the inhabitants of the area.
The rough land made it very difficult for firefighters to act upon it as fast as they should have and impede the fire from spreading even more. Captain Mohlersaid the fire was burning heavily and it was fueled by thick dry vegetation that hadn’t burned in years. The weather was not on the firefighters’ side either, making it even harder for them to work at extinguishing it. The Californian draught helped the fire extend faster than it was normal. Their biggest worry was that it was rapidly expanding towards a very populated area ant they put all their efforts to prevent that from happening The most threatened zone was the residential area along the border of Norco and Corona. According to officials, it was only half mile north of it.
In an attempt to help the locals, an evacuation center was opened by the American Red Cross at Riley Gym, located at 3900 Acacia Avenue in Norco. A horse evacuation point was established as well at Ingalls Park at 100 6th Street in Norco. Nobody was reported hurt, neither before nor during the event.
The huge fire sent a long and thick tower of smoke that could be seen from very far away. The cause of the fire has not yet been established but the investigators are trying to determine what caused such massive damage and threat to people’s homes.
Image Source: Boston
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