National News

Feb 1, 2014 1:30 PM by katc

Lafayette Native, Two Others, Indicted for Allegedly Starting California Wildfire

A federal grand jury has indicted three men, including a Lafayette native, on charges of causing a Los Angeles-area wildfire that burned five homes.

Jonathan Jarrell, along with Clifford Henry Jr., and Steven Aguirre were charged Friday with six counts, including violating fire restrictions and causing timber and brush on national forest land to burn. They each could face 12 years in prison.

The indictment supersedes earlier federal charges. The three remain jailed and have not entered pleas. Officials didn't have information on the men's attorneys, and they could not be reached for comment.

Authorities say the men set a campfire in the Angeles National Forest on Jan. 16 during Santa Ana winds and extreme fire danger. The men said a gust blew burning paper into some brush, sparking a 3-square-mile blaze.

The fire forced thousands to evacuate the foothill communities of Glendora and Azusa.

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