On April 28, 2017 at approximately 11:19 p.m. officers and firefighters responded to a vegetation fire at the east end of the Corona Airport. Witnesses provided a detailed description of a possible suspect vehicle and possibly seeing fireworks being shot into the field.
Corona Fire Department responded to the initial 7-acre vegetation fire near Rincon and Smith on Corona Airport property with 5 Engines, a Squad, a Battalion Chief, and as well as a Cal Fire engine. With moderate wind, the fire grew to over 20 acres and was extinguished with no damage to structures and no injuries to firefighters. Fire crews remained at the scene throughout the morning and will stay at the scene on Saturday for fire watch due to high winds and heat.
Riverside Police Department helicopter, Air 1, responded to the Corona Airport and observed vegetation fires also in the area of the 71 freeway. Air 1 flew toward the area and could see possible aerial flares being fired from a moving vehicle. CalFire and Chino Valley Fire District responded to the two additional fires near the 71 freeway.
At approximately 11:44 p.m. a Corona PD Officer stopped a vehicle matching description of the suspect vehicle near East 6th Street and Rimpau Avenue. Suspects were detained and a flare gun and flares were recovered from the vehicle. Two male suspects, a 19-year-old and 20-year-old of Lake Elsinore were arrested for arson and transported to Riverside County Jail with bail set at $10,000 each.
Corona Fire Department and the Corona Police Department coordinated with CalFire Investigators and believe that the suspects apprehended could also be responsible for additional fires in the Riverside County area. Names and photos of suspects are being withheld at this time pending further investigation.
Anyone with any additional information regarding the incident please contact Senior Detective Bryan Wood at 951-279-3631 or email Bryan.Wood@DiscoverCorona.com.