Glendora police took three men into custody and booked them for recklessly starting the blaze, dubbed the Colby Fire. They have been identified as Clifford Eugene Henry, Jr., 22, of Glendora; Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale; and Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, homeless of the Los Angeles area.
The men claimed they were sitting around a camp fire when a breeze kicked up, starting a fire.
"They were tossing papers into the campfire and a breeze -- reportedly -- a breeze had kicked up and set this fire," said Glendora police Chief Tim Staab during a press conference. He added that they were "apologetic."
The three men initially denied their involvement.
"They said that they were scared because there was a huge fire. They were fleeing from the fire is what they told me," said Cpl. Nancy Miranda with the Glendora Police Department.
Two of the men were seen running away from the mountains when first responders arrived, and a third man was taken off the mountain by the U.S. Forest Service.
Police found marijuana and cigarettes in the backpacks of two of the men. None of the suspects have a criminal record in Los Angeles County.
Bail was raised from $20,000 to $500,000 for each of the men due to the seriousness of the crime, as well as the high cost of damaged property and resources to fight the fire, according to Glendora police.
It's unclear if the men will face federal or state charges. They will make their first court appearance on Tuesday.
The fire, which erupted in dry and windy conditions, destroyed five homes and forced thousands of residents to evacuate.