Bomb squad investigators found an expended “flash-bang” device near a brush fire in Corona on Wednesday afternoon, July 13, authorities said.
The Corona Fire Department responded to a small brush fire at 2:21 p.m. at 20400 South Main St., near the Cleveland National Forest boundary in the hills, fire officials said. By 3:10 p.m., the fire’s forward progress was stopped, authorities said.
While mopping up the scene, fire officials found a device that was initially thought to be a possible hand grenade, said Sgt. Edward Soto, spokesman for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators determined that the device was an expended flash-bang device, Soto said. Authorities were working to properly dispose of the device, he said.
Flash-bangs are devices used by the military and law enforcement, sometimes to disperse crowds. They explode with a loud bang and emit a brilliant light and are used to create diversions to support high-risk entries in police work, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The device was not believed to be related to the blaze and the fire’s cause was under investigation, according to Cindy Solis, spokesman for the City of Corona.
No injuries were reported to firefighters or residents, Solis said. No evacuations were made during the investigation, according to Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis, spokesman for the Corona Police Department.
The fire’s final size was mapped at less than a half-acre, Corona fire officials said.
Cal Fire/Riverside County and the U.S. Forest Service also helped with the fire response, fire officials said. Crews were expected to remain on scene until around 6:30 p.m., authorities said.