GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — The three suspects accused of sparking the nearly 2,000-acre Colby Fire in San Gabriel Mountain foothills were charged in federal court Tuesday.
Jonathan Jarrell, 24, of Irwindale, 22-year-old Clifford Henry Jr. of Glendora and 21-year-old transient Steven Aguirre allegedly started a campfire early in the morning on Jan. 16 when the wind picked up and sparked the rapidly spreading wildfire.
The three men were arrested and booked the same day on suspicion of recklessly starting a fire. They say it was accidental and were “apologetic,” according to law enforcement.
Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint that charges the three men with unlawfully setting timber afire, a felony offense that carries a possible five-year prison term.
The men were officially charged Tuesday in United States District Court and are expected to be turned over to federal authorities this afternoon.
At its peak, more than 1,100 firefighters and several aircraft were fighting the fire that destroyed five homes and damaged 17 others.
Six injuries were also reported and thousands of Glendora and Azusa residents were also forced to evacuate.
Full containment of the fire, which had reached 1,952 acres as of Tuesday, was expected Wednesday afternoon.