TUSTIN, Calif. - The Orange County and military communities remain devastated after a fire destroyed a WWII-era blimp at the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin earlier this week as federal, local and state authorities continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.
On Wednesday evening, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) provided a preliminary to Tustin city officials on their findings from debris and ash collected at areas near the site of the fire. The results were alarming and indicated asbestos.
While fire activity dramatically lessened into Wednesday night, smoke and ash prompted warnings from the South Coast Air Quality Management District about unhealthy air quality, and residents were urged to avoid exposure by remaining indoors as much as possible with windows and doors closed, and to avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
Orange County also activated its emergency operations center Thursday morning in the wake of the fire's aftermath. The County has created a public information website and opened a hotline available for residents at 714-628-7085.
Out of an abundance of caution, city officials closed the following parks until further notice:
- The Annex at Tustin Legacy, 15445 Lansdowne Road
- Tustin Legacy Park, Red Hill Avenue/Barranca Parkway
- Veterans Sport Park, 1645 Valencia Avenue
- Tustin Sports Park, 12850 Robinson Drive
- Victory Park, 3300 Park Avenue
- Centennial Park, 14722 Devonshire Ave.
- Frontier Park, 1400 Mitchell Ave.
- Ron Foell Park, 60 Windrow Rd.
- Pine Tree Park, 1402 Bryan Ave.
City officials also called for school closures on Thursday, as well as the cancelation of the Veterans’ Day Celebration scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11.
City News Service contributed to this report.