Ferocious winds briefly force closure of Ontario Airport

People walk through Ontario International Airport in August 2019.
People walk through Ontario International Airport in August 2019. Strong Santa Ana winds temporarily forced the closure of all runways at the airport.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Intense winds buffeting Southern California sparked at least one wildfire and led to the closure of Ontario International Airport for over an hour Monday.

The San Bernardino County airport announced the closure on Twitter just before noon Monday. Shortly after 1 p.m., all but one runway had reopened, according to airport spokesman Steve Lambert.

Departures and arrivals were briefly canceled, delayed or redirected because of the winds, Lambert said.

Dan Gregoria, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego, said gusts at the airport on Monday had clocked in as high as 70 mph and were unlikely to dissipate for several hours.

“Through the rest of the afternoon,” Gregoria said, “there’s potential for wind gusts of 50 and even up to 70 mph.”


People can check Ontario International Airport’s flight information for the latest flight updates.

The fierce winds remain some of the strongest of the season, but wind-related closures are fairly uncommon at Ontario, Lambert said.

“You may get a situation a few times a year where they’ll briefly shut down,” he said, but Monday’s winds were “some pretty heavy-duty winds.”