Judge Orders Men Convicted of Starting Colby Fire To Pay Up

From left to right: Jonathan Jarrell, Steven Aguirre and Clifford Henry, Jr.

The Whittier Daily News is reporting that a district court judge Monday ordered the three men who started the Colby Fire to pay $9 million to victims and emergency responders.

Jonathan Jarrell, Steven Aguirre and Clifford Henry, Jr., who had all been convicted of igniting the destructive fire above Glendora, have been ordered to pay $4.4 million to the U.S. Forest Service, $1.9 million to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, $1.1 million to the California FAIR Plan Association and additional money to the Glendora and Azusa police departments, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Los Angeles County Fire Department, other government agencies and private citizens.

The nearly 2,000-acre Colby Fire In January of this year destroyed six homes and 17 other structures.

In an affidavit provided by the United States Attorneys Office, the three men admitted to igniting the fire and knew that doing so during red flag conditions was ill advised.

Henry, Jr. initially denied setting the fire, then admitted that his marijuana smoking was the likely cause of the ignition. Aguirre then told investigators that the trio started a small warming fire the night of Jan. 15.

Aguirre told investigators that around 6 a.m. on Jan. 16, he and Henry, Jr. started another camp fire to keep warm, despite conditions so windy they blew away a blanket used by Aguirre.

In August, Henry, Jr. was sentenced to six months in federal prison, while Aguirre was sentenced to four months. Among the charges were unlawfully setting timber afire, aiding and abetting and causing timber to be unlawfully set afire.

Jarrell’s sentencing was delayed until June of 2015.

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