The three men accused of sparking last month's 2,000-acre Colby fire near Glendora pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges, the LA Times reported.
The Colby Fire broke out before dawn on Jan. 16. Glendora Police said the three men--Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 24, of Irwindale, Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, of Los Angeles and Clifford Eugene Henry Jr., 22, of Glendora--had spent the night in the foothills above Glendora. As the night grew cold, they allegedly threw paper into their campfire.
Although they reportedly tried to stomp out the growing fire, the embers spread into a 2,000-acre blaze that destroyed five homes and damaged 17 others, an affidavit alleges.
The three men are also charged with four misdemeanor code violations, Assistant U.S. Atty. Bettinelli said, according to the LA Times. The felony counts each carry a maximum of five years in prison, while the misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to six months.
A trial date was set for March 11, though a status conference was scheduled for Feb. 20.