Southern California

Men Ordered to Pay $9 Million for Starting Colby Fire

The three men are each responsible for repaying the victims, the insurance companies and the government

The three men convicted of sparking the Colby Fire, which burned 1,900 acres and destroyed six residences in Southern California earlier this year, were ordered by a federal judge Monday to pay $9 million in restitution.

Clifford Eugene Henry Jr., Steven Robert Aguirre, and Jonathon Carl Jarrell are responsible for repaying the victims, the insurance companies, and the government for the costs of their criminal activity.

They each must pay $1.9 million to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, $1.1 million to the California FAIR Plan Association, as well as hundreds of thousands to the Glendora and Azusa police departments, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, and other government entities and private citizens, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said.

Clifford Henry, 22, and Steven Aguirre, 21, were sentenced to serve 6 months and 5 months, respectively, in federal prison. They also must serve three-year federal probation terms. They were convicted of lighting and failing to control an illegal campfire, prosecutors said.

A third man, Jonathan Jarrell, was also found guilty in connection with the wildfire. He awaits sentencing

The fire likely spread when the men used paper to fuel the flames, investigators said. A federal complaint alleged the men were camping, smoking pot and watching videos on their laptop when they lost control of the campfire, which spiraled into the Jan. 16 Colby Fire in the hills above Glendora.

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