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Glendora fire grows to 1,863 acres, but crews report progress

Fire officials said they're making good progress in controlling the Colby Fire, as they battle the flames from spreading.
January 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Crews continue to make progress on the Colby Fire that erupted in the foothills above Glendora early Thursday morning.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the blaze had charred 1,863 acres, and was 30 percent contained. Firefighters said the blaze remains active on the north end, but they are making progress. Full containment is expected by Sunday.

Officials said there were a few flare-ups overnight, but crews worked in and around structures to put out hot spots and protect homes. They said structure protection is in good shape, and crews will turn their focus to putting out active flames still burning in the forest.

Authorities said 1,176 fire personnel have been assigned to battle the blaze Friday, along with 150 engines, nine helicopters, four fixed-wing air tankers and over 33 hand crews.

The blaze erupted around 5:50 a.m. Thursday in the Angeles National Forest near Glendora Mountain Road and Colby Way. Flames spread rapidly and moved down the hill toward homes, forcing 3,700 people to evacuate.

Glendora residents were allowed back in their homes Thursday night, but some Azusa residents were still evacuated Friday. Evacuation orders were lifted at 4 p.m. Friday between Ranch Road and Yucca Ridge Road, including the Crystal Canyon Condo Complex and the Mirador Housing Tract, in Azusa. Residents of Mountain Cove were still under evacuation orders due to concerns for roadways and homes in the area, according to Azusa Police.

The Colby Fire destroyed five homes and damaged 17 buildings. One of the homes destroyed by flames was a guest house on the campus of the historic Singer Mansion, a 1920s Spanish estate built by heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune on Kregmont Drive.

Three injuries were reported from the fire. Authorities say a civilian and a firefighter suffered minor burn injuries, and a another firefighter suffered a minor ankle injury.

Three men suspected of recklessly starting the Colby Fire will face federal charges, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed to Eyewitness News Friday. The men -- identified as Clifford Eugene Henry, Jr., 22, of Glendora; Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale; and Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, a transient last known to live in LA -- were taken into custody Thursday after two of them were seen running from the mountains.

EVACUATION CENTERS

People who need overnight shelter can go to the American Red Cross shelter located at Glendora High School at 1600 E. Foothill Blvd. in Glendora. Evacuation centers that were set up at Memorial Park in Azusa and the Duarte Community Center have been closed.

Evacuated pets can be brought to the Pasadena Humane Society, 361 S. Raymond Ave; the Inland Valley Humane Society, 859 E. Sierra Madre Ave., or Memorial Park in Azusa, 320 N. Orange Place. A shelter for evacuated horses has been set up at the Pomona Fairplex, Gate 12, 1101 W. McKinley Ave.

Officials said evacuated animals that were taken to the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control's evacuation trailers are being transported to the Baldwin Park Care Center located at 4275 N. Elton St. in Baldwin Park.

ROAD CLOSURES

All streets north of Sierra Madre Avenue from Glendora Mountain Road to Yucca Ridge were closed. Highway 39 and Glendora Mountain Road are shut down, and Azusa Police closed Garcia Trail.

All schools in the Azusa Unified School District are scheduled to be in session Friday, but outdoor activities were to be limited, according to Azusa Police.

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