Los Angeles

2 Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for $6 Million Colby Fire

Both men will serve several months in a federal prison with three years of supervised release

Two men found guilty of starting the Colby Fire which burned 1,900 acres and destroyed six residences in Southern California earlier this year were sentenced to federal prison, officials 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 starting the the Jan. 16 wildfire in the hills above Glendora, prosecutors said.

"The devastation directly caused by defendants conduct points to the incredible seriousness of their offense," prosecutors wrote in a brief filed in relation to the sentencing. "But the fact that it could have been worse underscores that degree of seriousness. But for the quick thinking and courageous reactions of the Glendora and Azusa Police Departments to evacuate the residents in harm's way; but for the heroic actions of individual fire fighters, helicopter pilots and aircraft tanker pilots in battling the blaze; but for the winds dying down and the humidity increasing...this could have been so much worse."

They were found guilty in May of one felony and three misdemeanor counts of lighting and failing to control an illegal campfire, officials said.

A third man, Jonathan Jarrell, was also found guilty in connection with the fire. He's scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

They were accused of starting an illegal campfire amid dry brush of the Angeles National Forest, 30 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

A federal complaint alleged the men were camping, smoking pot and watching videos on a laptop when they lost control of their campfire.

The fire likely spread when the men used paper to fuel the flames, according to investigators.
Prosecutors said that the fire cost an excess of $6 million and damaged eight residences and 17 other structures, and injured a civilian and two firefighters.

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