Colby fire wildfire burns more than 1,700 acres, destroys 5 homes

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More than 700 firefighters battle a blaze in southern California, which burned more than 1,700 acres and destroyed five homes. Three men are arrested on suspicion of starting the fire.


By Ari Bloomekatz, The Los Angeles Times
Update: January 17, 2014, 5:59 a.m.

Firefighters battling the Colby fire in the hills above Glendora and Azusa should benefit from calmer winds Friday as they work to increase containment around the blaze that so far has destroyed five homes and several other structures.

The fire, which officials said was sparked by an illegal campfire, was 30% contained as of Thursday night after having scorched 1,709 acres. More than 700 firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies were battling the blaze.

The fire, which broke out along Glendora Mountain Road by the Colby truck trail, was initially fueled by strong Santa Ana winds that helped push it toward neighborhoods, forcing evacuations.

But as the winds died down Thursday evening, firefighters announced that “the forward spread of the fire has stopped.” Thousands of people who were within the evacuation area were allowed to return home by nightfall.