3 Suspects in Southern Calif. Wildfire Smoked Pot as Blaze Flared: Prosecutors

Three men are accused of starting an illegal campfire amid the dry brush of Angeles National Forest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The U.S. Attorney's Office filed charges against the three men accused of starting the Colby Fire, which burned more than 1,900 acres and destroyed five homes in the San Gabriel Mountains. Kim Baldonado reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014)

    Three Southern California men accused of starting the 1,952-acre Colby Fire allegedly smoked marijuana as the brush fire flared, according to a federal complaint filed on Tuesday.

    Clifford Eugene Henry Jr., 22, of Glendora; Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, a transient last known to live in Los Angeles; and Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale, were charged with one federal count each of unlawfully setting a fire.

    The men allegedly tossed papers into a campfire when winds sent embers into the brush above Glendora, setting off the Colby Fire.

    A federal complaint alleges they were camping, smoking pot and watching videos on a laptop when their campfire got out of control. 

    Residents Return After Colby Fire Evacs Lifted

    [LA] Residents Return After Colby Fire Evacs Lifted
    As residents in Azusa prepare to return to their homes after mandatory fire evacuations are lifted, some recall the experience of watching a fire threaten their houses. Reggie Kumar reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (Published Saturday, Jan 18, 2014)

    The suspects are expected to appear in federal court on Wednesday.

    Gov. Brown Declares CA Drought Emergency

    Colby Fire Evacuees Return to Homes

    [LA] Colby Fire Evacuees Return to Homes
    As crews make progress on the Colby Fire near Azusa, most of the residents placed under evacuation orders are being allowed to return to their homes. Kim Baldonado reports from Azusa for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (Published Friday, Jan 17, 2014)

    They face up to five years in prison if convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    The three men were taken into custody shortly after the fire broke out early Thursday morning amid a red flag warning denoting an elevated risk of wildfires.

    Firefighters Struggle to Contain Colby Fire

    [LA] Firefighters Struggle to Contain Colby Fire
    Firefighters continue to battle the Colby Fire, which began Thursday morning in the Angeles National Forest near Glendora. The fire has burned more than 1,800 acres and is 30 percent contained. Azusa residents were still not allowed home on Saturday morning. Reggie Kumar reports for Today in LA Weekend on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (Published Saturday, Jan 18, 2014)

    Historic Mansion Property Damaged

    Glendora police Chief Tim Staab last week a resident called police shortly after the fire began and reported seeing at least two people near what was believed to be the origin of the blaze.

    California Wildfires: Fire Map

    Staab described one of the suspects as "apologetic," and said one of the men admitted to setting the fire.

    Photos: Colby Fire Sends Smoke Over SoCal

    The Colby Fire was 95 percent contained as of Tuesday.

    It destroyed five homes, damaged 17 others and injured six people, including five firefighters and a civilian. It also prompted evacuations of several neighborhoods.