We have some important breaking news to share with you. There is a fire currently burning at a large hangar in Orange County on the grounds of the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin. Mario Ramirez is live with us this morning to bring us the story. Mario, can you provide us with an update at this time? To give you an idea of the location, Tustin is approximately 35 miles southeast of the Metro LA area.
We have been witnessing the destruction of this iconic structure, with parts of it being consumed by flames. This is the north hangar of the former Tustin air base here in Orange County. The fire started just before 1:00 AM Pacific time and has been burning for over 5 hours now. Fire officials estimate that it could take days to fully extinguish.
The hangar, made mostly of wood, has been standing for decades and its historical significance cannot be understated. It is uncertain what was being stored inside, if anything. The Tustin air base had two blimp hangars that were constructed in 1942 during World War II.
These hangars, standing at 17 stories high, are two of the largest wooden structures in the country. They have been featured in prominent films and TV shows and are considered historical landmarks. The hanger currently on fire is owned by the Department of the Navy and was undergoing evaluation for future use. While the south hangar remains intact, as we get closer to it, its massive size becomes apparent. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but multiple fire crews from various agencies in Orange County are working on extinguishing it.
Additionally, crews are stationed in nearby neighborhoods to prevent any embers from starting more fires. Despite not experiencing strong winds, which would present an additional challenge, fire officials anticipate a lengthy operation. We want to emphasize that residents should heed the advice of fire officials. Road closures are in effect, and the heavy smoke is cause for concern. Residents are urged to close their windows and avoid the area.
It is important to note that the former base side is currently without water, so firefighters are having to transport water using trucks and hoses, which adds to the complexity of their task. Over 70 fire crews are on the scene, diligently working to control the fire. Thank you, Mario Ramirez, for your comprehensive reporting. Please ensure your safety while providing updates, as the situation may evolve. We will continue to check in with you for the latest information.