Colby Fire not contained yet as flareups continue

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Firefighters clear brush as they battle the Colby Fire near Azusa, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Firefighters clear brush as they battle the Colby Fire near Azusa, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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GLENDORA (CNS) – Full containment of the Colby Fire, which has burned 1,952 acres in the Glendora/Azusa area of the Angeles National Forest, is now expected sometime Friday afternoon, a fire official said today.

“We’ll have full containment tomorrow, probably in the afternoon,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy. “We’re still finding hot spots in the interior perimeter of the fire. Until they are completely out, we will not call it 100 percent contained — until there are no flareups.”

The Colby Fire took its name from the community just north of Glendora and 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, Judy said.

Highway 39, north of Glendora into the Angeles National Forest, will remain closed to all but residents until 5 p.m. Friday.

Glendora Police Department Chief Tim Staab said the fire started when a gust of wind caught papers that three men had thrown on a campfire, blowing embers “all over the place” soon after 5:30 a.m. Thursday. The three are expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court today.

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

At the peak of the blaze a week ago today, 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.

Six people were injured, including five firefighters and a woman who was hit by a burning palm frond that fell on her back.

 

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