US & Canada

Three held over California 'Colby' wildfire

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Media captionAerial footage shows the fire's spread

Three people have been arrested in connection with a California wildfire that has already destroyed 1,700 acres (688 ha) north-east of Los Angeles.

Emergency crews say they have contained 30% of the blaze which started at 06:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Authorities say it began when the three suspects threw paper into a campfire. They faces charges of recklessly starting a fire.

Three people have been reported injured and nearly 2,000 people evacuated.

Los Angeles County Fire Deputy Chief John Tripp said at a news conference that five homes had been burned and 17 structures, including some residences, damaged by the fire, which is thought to have started near Colby Trail.

But some residents will be allowed to return home as firefighters begin to take control of the fire.

"We've got good, solid containment around most of the neighbourhoods," Chief Tripp was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

Hundreds of firefighters were sent to the scene. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said it had sent two tanker planes and eight helicopters to help.

Dry and windy conditions in the area are said to have increased the threat of fire, a National Weather Service employee told US media.

Several schools were shut for the day and local officials issued a smoke advisory for Los Angeles County and the nearby region, urging residents to stay indoors.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Colby fire has burned five homes in the north-east of Los Angeles
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of firefighters were sent in to tackle the fast-moving fire
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A resident attempts to protect his home from the blaze with a water hose

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