Residents thank firefighters battling 2,000-acre Canyon fire – Orange County Register

As evacuations for the 2,000-acre Canyon fire in Corona were lifted Wednesday morning, residents not only expressed their thanks to firefighters – even greeting them on the street and hugging them – they also began examining the damage the blaze caused.

“They are our angels,” said Carmen Sarmiento, 88, who walked up San Ramon Drive in Corona with her son, Manuel Sarmiento, to thank the firefighters. “Our guardian angels.”

“I didn’t think I would see our home again,” she said after hugging Capt. Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority. “They did so much. Angels.”

As of Wednesday morning, 1,589 personnel — including Corona, Los Angeles County Fire, Orange County Fire Authority and Cathedral City Fire departments — were committed to the Canyon fire, which remained at 2,000 acres and was 20 percent contained, according to Concialdi said. Eleven helicopters and six air tankers – including a DC-10 – were dedicated to the fire on Wednesday.

At least three homes have been damaged.

A communications site that’s part of Riverside County’s public safety radio network was also damaged, county Fire Chief John Hawkins told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

A propane tank exploded at the Sierra Peak site, Hawkins said. It’s one of 77 nodes in the Public Safety Enterprise Communications network.

Cooler overnight temperatures and an expected 20 percent humidity on Wednesday should help in the fight, Concialdi said.

No one has been injured.

Though no active flames are visible, firefighters are still actively battling the blaze, firefighters said Wednesday, said John DeYoe, Corona fire spokesman.

The evacuations were lifted for residents with ID at 10 a.m. Wednesday and all roads were open – again, to residents with ID – south of Green River Road from the 91 Freeway to Foothill Parkway.

Although it appears the flames may have…

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