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It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's parachute jumpers lighting up the nighttime sky at Lake Elsinore

January 7, 2011 |  9:27 am

Skydivers taking a nighttime jump over Lake Elsinore prompted nearby residents to call authorities about fireballs falling from the sky, authorities said Friday.

Emergency dispatchers were “inundated with calls” Thursday night, reporting something in the sky around the lake area, said Cheri Patterson, spokeswoman with the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

“There were varying reports of what people thought they were seeing and an increased number of 911 calls,” she said.

It turned out to be skydivers making their jumps while holding flares, said Melissa Nieburger, a spokeswoman with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff's deputies heard the skydivers were members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, more commonly known as the Golden Knights, she said.

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-- Shan Li

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