Three men accused of starting Southern California wildfire

Jan. 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Three men were arrested Thursday as suspects in a wildfire that has burned more than 1,700 acres of forest northeast of Los Angeles, authorities said.

One person burned in the Colby fire required treatment at a hospital, the Los Angeles Times reported. The fire just started just after dawn Thursday morning in the Los Angeles National Forest and spread quickly in the hot, tinder-dry conditions.

At least two homes in the city Glendora were consumed by flames. Three men, all in their early 20s, were arrested on suspicion of deliberately starting the fire and held on $20,000 bail. They told police wind blew papers from their campfire and set brush ablaze, the Times said.

Glendora's mayor declared a state of emergency. The fire caused scattered electric power outages.

Red flag warnings indicating the fire danger are in effect throughout Southern California until Friday because of the windy conditions and summer-like temperatures in the mid-80s. About 700 firefighters at the Colby fire were being assisted by more than a dozen aircraft, the Times said.

Another smaller brush fire was reported near Pyramid Lake and Hungry Valley at the northbound 5 Freeway and Highway 138, fire officials said.

A wildfire in the Jurupa Valley in Riverside County gutted four houses Tuesday, the Times said. An elementary school and other buildings were evacuated.

The Pacific Coast Highway was closed during rush hour because of a brushfire Tuesday. Another blaze burned about 40 acres.

In the San Francisco area, a fire on Kimball Island in the Sacramento Delta damaged three houses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The island, accessible only by boat, was evacuated.

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