A wildfire that broke out Thursday on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest near Corona quickly spread in dry vegetation, blackening 250 acres and threatening homes.
The non-injury blaze was reported shortly after 3 p.m. in the area of Skyline Drive and Burrero Way, near the entrance to a popular hiking spot, according to the Corona Fire Department. The fire is 5 percent contained, according to a Corona Fire Department official.
Riverside County Fire Department staff took charge of deploying resources because the blaze started in an unincorporated area, and two dozen engine crews and eight hand crews from the county, Corona, Riverside and the U.S. Forest Service converged on the location, with 240 personnel working to contain the fire, according to a county fire department spokeswoman.
A house on Trudy Way was in the path of the fire, and crews established a protective shield around the property, sparing it from damage, according to reports from the scene.
Other properties were threatened by the flames, leading public safety officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order for the Orchard Glen Community housing development.
The following streets were impacted by the order: Brannan Circle, Burnett Circle, Burrero Way, Corbett Street, Elker Road, Fanning Circle, Folson Circle, Gareth Circle, Mabey Canyon Road, Rawley Street and Trudy Way.
Evacuees were directed to shelter at Corona High School or another safe location. Corona police shut down Foothill Parkway between Elysia Street and Paseo Grande to prevent traffic from interrupting firefighting efforts.
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Six air tankers and three water-dropping helicopters were making runs on the wildfire that was spreading through vegetation at a moderate rate amid light winds, according to county officials.
The water drops were expected to be continued through the night. Smoke could be seen from the Riverside (91) Freeway to the north and Interstate 15 to the east, initially prompting multiple calls to the California Highway Patrol. The cause of the fire was under investigation.