Colby fire

The Colby fire that broke out in Glendora, on the edge of the Angeles National Forest, exploded in size Thursday morning as dry brush, steep terrain and winds made for rough firefighting conditions. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / January 16, 2014)

Six engine companies from Glendale and Burbank fire departments were deployed Thursday to help hundreds of firefighters attack the raging Colby fire that blackened more than 1,700 acres near Glendora.

The companies, as well as a Glendale fire water tender, were part of three strike teams from the region sent to provide additional support in battling the blaze in the Angeles National Forest, according to fire officials. Each strike team had 22 firefighters.

The blaze was roughly 5 acres when it was first reported at 5:52 a.m. and then grew quickly, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Plumes of smoke from the massive blaze were seen as far away as Long Beach.

The powerful fire, which was 30% contained late Thursday afternoon, resulted in three people being injured, including two firefighters. At least five homes were destroyed and 17 other structures were damaged.

Police also arrested three men — Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, a Los Angeles transient; Clifford Eugene Henry, 22, of Glendora; and Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale — on suspicion of recklessly starting a fire after they were spotted fleeing the area where the blaze started.

Firefighters planned to continue monitoring the blaze into the evening.

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