Trio charged over 800ha wildfire

01:19, Jan 22 2014

Three men have been charged in federal court with illegally setting a campfire that erupted into a wildfire last week and burned five homes in the Southern California mountains.

Prosecutors on Tuesday (local time) filed felony charges against the men, which can carry a five-year prison term.

All three were arrested last week, and it's unclear whether they have attorneys.

Prosecutors say the men made a campfire during dangerous Santa Ana conditions, and a gust of wind caught papers they threw onto the blaze. The embers set brush alight in the Angeles National Forest foothills above Glendora northeast of Los Angeles.

The resulting wildfire destroyed five homes and damaged 17. It also injured six people and forced several thousand from their homes.

The nearly 2000-acre (800-hectare) fire was 95 per cent contained on Tuesday.

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AP