Burning Car Triggers Brush Fire Near Corona

CORONA (CNS) - A brush fire triggered by a burning car blackened 100 acres today northwest of Corona and prompted the partial closure of a highway, but no homes or other structures were immediately threatened.

The non-injury blaze was reported shortly after 2 p.m. along the northbound Corona (71) Expressway, north of the junction with the Riverside (91) Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.The agency said a white sedan caught fire, possibly from overheating, and the vehicle was quickly engulfed. 

Flames jumped from the car to dry vegetation nearby, culminating in a brusher that prompted the CHP to shut down all northbound lanes going into San Bernardino County. Corona Fire Department crews initially responded to the location, but the Riverside County Fire Department took over the battle because the flames were situated in an unincorporated area along the boundary separating Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to reports from the scene. 

Eleven engine crews and five hand crews, numbering about 100 personnel, deployed to the wildfire. According to county officials, four air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were making runs on it. Ontario Fire Department personnel were assisting in attempting to encircle the brusher, which was not in the vicinity of a populated area. 

A SigAlert was issued at 2:30 p.m. because of the traffic jam on the 71 and connecting freeways.

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