LOS ANGELES (AP) – Three men have pleaded not guilty to causing a Southern California wildfire that burned five homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.
Clifford Henry Jr. of Glendora and two homeless men – Steven Aguirre and Jonathan Jarrell – entered pleas Tuesday in Los Angeles to six federal charges.
Each man faces up to 12 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts.
Authorities say the men set an illegal 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 destroyed five homes, damaged 17 homes and other buildings, and forced thousands to evacuate the Los Angeles foothill communities of Glendora and Azusa.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.