3 Men Arrested in California Wildfire

Campfire apparently got out of control

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 16, 2014 3:57 PM CST

(Newser) – An illegal campfire and the Santa Ana winds appear to have combined to whip up a wildfire northeast of Los Angeles that has destroyed 1,700 acres so far and damaged two homes. Three men in their 20s have been arrested and charged with recklessly starting a fire, reports the Los Angeles Times. They told police they built a campfire to keep warm early this morning—in an area not designated for camping—and a gust of wind got hold of it. Police say there's no evidence they started the blaze on purpose.

A resident saw two of the men running from the hills where the fire started and flagged police. The arresting officer says they initially denied all knowledge of the blaze, but "I knew immediately something was off." The third man was picked up nearby by a Forest Service officer. Authorities say at least one of the three is homeless. One resident of the San Gabriel Valley community of Glendora suffered minor burns, reports AP.

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop behind a home north of the San Gabriel Valley community of Glendora, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A firefighter calls for more water on a burning near Glendora, Calif.   (AP Photo/The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin,Will Lester)
Local residents watch the fire near Glendora.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Firefighters douse the flames on a house in Glendora Calif.   (AP Photo/The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Will Lester)
Firefighters fight the fire as it burns near Glendora, Calif.   (AP Photo/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Will Lester)
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