Wildfire in hills near Los Angeles is largely contained

Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:25pm EST

1 of 20. An air tanker makes waters drops as firefighters battle a fast-moving California wildfire, so-called the ''Colby Fire'', in the hills of Glendora January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gene Blevins

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(Reuters) - A wildfire in the hills near Los Angeles was more than 75 percent contained on Sunday, after blackening some 1,900 acres of drought-parched shrubland and destroying five homes, officials said.

The so-called Colby Fire, which officials said started from a campfire, was expected to be fully contained by Tuesday, said Nathan Judy, a spokesman for the Angeles National Forest & Fire Department.

The blaze, centered in the San Gabriel Mountains on territory that is part of the Angeles National Forest, was 78 percent contained, Judy said.

All evacuation orders had been lifted as of Saturday evening. The fire had prompted some 3,500 residents in parts of Glendora and neighboring Azusa northeast of Los Angeles to vacate their homes on the order of authorities.

Hot, dry Santa Ana winds from interior deserts fanned the flames when it broke out on Thursday, but the next day the winds subsided and the fire barely grew in size.

The blaze broke out when three men were building a campfire and used paper to feed the flames, officials said. Bail was set at $500,000 for each of the men, who were jailed on Thursday on suspicion of recklessly starting the fire.

The fire destroyed five homes and damaged 17, officials said.

(Reporting by Dana Feldman; Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Meredith Mazzilli)

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