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3 Arrested for Allegedly Starting LA Wildfire

Authorities say the fast-moving fire was sparked by three campers.
3:00 | 01/17/14

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Transcript for 3 Arrested for Allegedly Starting LA Wildfire
First right to the latest on that mammoth wildfire outside of los angeles. Authorities saying the huge blaze may have been caused by careless campers. Abc's david wright is in front of the charred remains of the multimillion dollar singer mansion which burned down in the blaze. Good morning, david. Reporter: Good morning, robin. These used to be the servants' quarters. Not much left and I'm not sure if you can see but they're still burning right now. This is normally the season of mud slides, not wildfires but an epic drought and some careless campers have brought backfire season with a vengeance, 1700 acres scorched and five homes destroyed. Overnight, red hot flames lit up the ridge lines in one of the most densely populated parts of the country. The skyline of downtown l.A. Looked like a volcano was erupting nearby. It came through here like a hurricane like it was just -- it went from being calm to you couldn't even see. The whole house, there were sparks flying down our street. Little tiny patch fires. Reporter: In the backyards of million dollar homes, the front lines of the fire. It's right behind there. You can see coming down. Reporter: We met captain ruben montana and his crew doing their best to defend these houses as strong winds whipped the flames through bone-dry brush. A battle fought on the ground and from the air. Cavalry has arrived. Helicopters attacking these flames just in time. It looks like this homeowner is very lucky today, but there's still a long, dry winter ahead. These homeowners formed a bucket brigade trying to keep it at bayment for some a losing battle. Five hopes destroyed. 17 other buildings were damaged. Reporter: Including the singer mansion, once owned by the heirs to the singer sewing machine fortune, part of it went up in flames. Authorities say the fast-moving fire was sparked by a campfire set by these three men already in custody. All three have been booked for recklessly starting a fire. Reporter: Today a thousand homeowners forced to evacuate are coming back to survey the damage by light of day. The suspects here are being held on 20,000 to $500,000 bail. They could be arraigned as early as today. You said it best earlier that january and february are usually california's wettest months and that is not happening. So much so that not only do they have their driest year on record but look at this. Just in the last week we went from 28% in extreme drought to 63% and that was just as of tuesday. It has been so hot and dry this will continue to expand. Here's what's happening for today. WE TAY IN THOSE MID-80s AND Close to los angeles, the red flag warnings around, the only good news I have, the winds are going to be a little bit lighter. But overall, the ridge is staying and all of the wet and cold air is staying to the east, very dynamic pattern here, no drought relief in sight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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