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Expected Colby Fire Containment Moved Up to Tuesday

The fire has burned nearly 2,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hayden
Photo courtesy of Daniel Hayden

By City News Service

Firefighters worked Sunday to surround the five-day-old, nearly 2,000-acre Colby Fire, which was 84 percent contained or surrounded by midday.

Full containment of the fire in the Angeles National Forest is expected today, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Colby Fire affected neighborhoods along the steep mountain slopes on ridges between Glendora and the San Gabriel River Canyon in the Angeles National Forest. It has destroyed five homes, damaged 17 others, and injured six people, including five firefighters and a civilian, forest service spokesman Nathan Judy said.

More than 800 firefighting personnel were deployed to battle the flames today, along with one fixed-wing air tanker and two helicopters, Judy said. The county-leased SuperScooper aircraft were not being deployed Sunday, he said.

Containment lines still have to be established amid the loose rocks to the north and east in the wilderness between Highway 39 and the Glendora Mountain Road, Forest Service officials said.

Residents of the Mountain Cove subdivision north of Azusa were allowed to return to their homes Saturday evening, just as red flag warnings expired, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Hundreds of other evacuees had been allowed to return home Friday.  

The fire was allegedly set by three young men tossing papers into a campfire on Colby Trail before sunrise Thursday as hot and dry Santa Ana winds buffeted the scrub brush. At the peak of the blaze Thursday, fire descended from the mountains into residential neighborhoods as 1,175 firefighters, nine helicopters and two SuperScooper aircraft were thrown into an aggressive fire attack.

The six people injured include five firefighters and a woman who was hit by a burning palm frond that fell on her back.

Clifford Eugene Henry Jr., 22, of Glendora and Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, a transient last known to live in Los Angeles, remained jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail on suspicion of recklessly starting a fire. Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale remained jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.


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