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Colby fire: Calmer winds should help firefighters Friday

The fire has burned some 1,700 acres and destroyed five houses.

By
Gabrielle Levy
The Colby wildfire from above, on the morning of Jan. 16, 2014. (NASA/MODIS)
The Colby wildfire from above, on the morning of Jan. 16, 2014. (NASA/MODIS)

Firefighters in Southern California are optimistic Friday's calmer winds will give them the break they need to bring the Colby fire burning near Glendora and Azusa under control.

The blaze was 30 percent contained Thursday night, after burning more than 1,700 acres and destroying at least five homes. Residents of Glendora were allowed to return home Thursday night, but Azusa residents remained under an evacuation order.

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"We've got good solid containment around almost all of the neighborhoods, and most of those areas are out," said Los Angeles County Fire Deputy Chief John Tripp.

Still, the National Weather Service is leaving a red-flag warning in place as the ongoing Santa Ana winds, gusting up to 30 mph, and extreme low humidity, could send the fire spreading again.

"We build up a little bit of confidence," Tripp said, "but we always still have a threat."

Three men were arrested Thursday in connection with starting the fire. They were accused of lighting a campfire to keep warm in the pre-dawn chill in the area where the Colby trail meets the Glendora Mountain Road, said Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab.

The spot was not designated for camping, and a gust of wind "just blew embers all over the place."

[LA Times] [Weather.com]

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