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Some Evacuees Of Canyon Fire In Corona Have Been Allowed To Return Home

CORONA (CBSLA) – Some evacuees of the Canyon fire burning off the 91 Freeway on the Orange-Riverside county border have been allowed to return home.

All roads north of Green River Road and Foothill Parkway in Corona are now open to residents.

But mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for all roads south of Green River Road and Foothill Parkway.

The Canyon Fire, which started about 1 p.m. Monday, prompted mandatory evacuations of 1,500 people from some 500 homes in the Dominguez Ranch area of Corona, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

"It came up over the ridge there, probably 50-foot flames, sounded like a turbine engine when it came over, at times we were kind of thinking we probably should have left," homeowner Rick Krumes told CBS2.

The blaze is 15 percent contained and has destroyed one home and a big rig.

"Flames were across every hill all the way around us, swirling embers, it was crazy," neighbor Jeff Peterson added.

Concialdi told CBS2 Tuesday that helicopters with night-vision capabilities were able to battle the blaze overnight. Officials were expecting to get several more fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters Tuesday, up to nine of each.

"It's going to get warm, it's going to get windier today, and we just don't want any embers to kick up, start some of these palm trees on fire, some of the vegetation around these homes," Concialdi said.

Out of an abundance of precaution, the following schools will remain closed, Wednesday due to the active Canyon Fire.

1. Coronita Elementary School
2. John Adams Elementary School
3. Cesar Chavez Academy
4. Prado View Elementary School
5. Eisenhower Elementary School
6. Citrus Hills Intermediate School
7. Franklin Elementary School

All other CNUSD schools will remain open tomorrow and may be placed on inclement weather schedule.

A Sig Alert was in affect for the 91 Freeway. Several lanes of the 91 Freeway eastbound were closed at East Coal Canyon. The on- and off-ramps for Green River Road were also shut down. CHP was asking people to avoid the eastbound 91 Freeway.

The fire was burning alongside the eastbound Riverside Freeway, just west of Green River Road in west Corona, and initially spread at a "moderate" rate to Coal Canyon Road off the freeway, said Concialdi. The blaze -- what sparked it was not immediately determined -- prompted evacuations in Corona in Riverside County.

It began spreading at a "rapid rate" around 3 p.m. Monday, fanned by Santa Ana winds blowing at 20 to 25 mph.

One Corona police officer suffered minor injuries not related to the firefight, Concialdi said, but details were not immediately released.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 1,000 residents in the Dominguez Ranch area of Corona, Concialdi said. He said he expects most evacuation orders to be lifted later Tuesday.

Evacuations were ordered on Dominguez Ranch Road, San Almada Road, San Ponte Road, San Viscaya Circle, San Sebastian Circle, San Ramon Drive, San Alvarado Road, Mt. Elena Circle, Mt. Tesoro, Mt. Palmas and Mt. Cantara Circle, according to the Corona Fire Department. Green River and Foothill roads were closed from the 91 Freeway to Lincoln Avenue.

Evacuations remained in effect overnight on the south side of Green River Road, from the 91 Freeway to Trudy Way, it said. An evacuation shelter was set up in the gymnasium at Corona High School.

Battling the blaze were the Anaheim, Corona, and Los Angeles County fire departments, the OCFA, U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire. Crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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