Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Three men who camped in a no-camping area near Glendora were arrested Thursday on suspicion of causing a wildfire that burned more than 1,700 acres in the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles.
Clifford Eugene Henry Jr., 22, of Glendora; Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale; and Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, formerly of Los Angeles are being held at the Glendora city jail on $20,000 bail, Glendora police Chief Tim Staab said. One of them admitted starting the Colby Fire that has destroyed two homes and injured one person, Staab said.
Two of the men who were seen by a resident running down the hill away from the fire near North Palm Drive initially denied causing the fire. But they were taken into custody when the police officer who confronted them found marijuana and cigarettes inside their backpacks.
Their companion, who got separated from them, was picked up by U.S. Forest Service officials while he was walking down Glendora Mountain Road. He was taken to the police station.
The Colby fire was reported at 5:55 a.m. near San Gabriel Canyon Road, according to fire officials. Wind gusts and dry vegetation caused the fire to quickly spread forcing the evacuation of between 1,700 and 2,000 residents north of Sierra Boulevard between Glendora Mountain Road and Highway 39. The Cullen, La Fetra and Sellers elementary schools; Goddard and Sanburg middle schools; St. Lucy’s Priory High School; and Citrus College were closed.
About 700 firefighters were battling the blaze with the help of eight air tankers and seven helicopters, the U.S. Forest Service said.