Three in Custody Following Glendora, Calif., Wildfire

Officials discuss possible causes of massive wildfire spreading in the hills near Los Angeles.
3:00 | 01/15/14

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Transcript for Three in Custody Following Glendora, Calif., Wildfire
This is a special room. Good afternoon anti Hernandez in New York with an ABC news digital special report on the massive fire burning out of control in the mountains overlooking Los Angeles. It just started this morning here's what it looks like now -- she acre after acre of dry brush. In Glendora 17100 acres burned two homes have been destroyed. And on top of that three suspects have been arrested in connection with -- fire police say they were seen running away from the fire -- responders arrived. -- 150 firefighters are trying to keep this wall of flames from doing more damage. Live to a news conference now in Los Angeles. Southern. Count began. Counting EM OMB and state oh yes. Assisted us with the resources. I'll let my. IC for the Forest Service talk about -- missile attack of the incident ruling. Paul AC LL -- named Jim JIM. Morning everybody here. My name's Tim Thomas selling today I am. TOM. A SE LL line. On the Forest Service incident commander initial attack incident commander. -- approximately 0600 this morning. We received Doug good -- out for a plausible this -- fire and what we call area 21 which is up here often Glendora mountain road. The fire was identified right away it was growing pretty rapidly. Once we got on scene we -- immediately went into unified command with LA county fire. Because of fires really close to the jurisdictional boundary between the two agencies so we went and unified command. We immediately ordered a second alarm recognizing that the fire was and then initially inaccessible to our engines it wasn't up against the road so. We ordered a second alarm. And -- -- RI CP down here at the high school. From there we. Excuse me sorry. Buzz -- and thought there. From Eric met with chief tripped and we decided. What other resources we needed to order. That's all I have to thank you thanks chief. Next up from LA county fire department -- -- -- -- -- And the mourning their caused the fire chief Boston -- county fire department. This morning -- -- 52 of them houses on fire department received the Iowa one call of a brushfire. Above the city of Glendora. Upon -- all our first arriving units reported -- -- five acre brushfire. In heavy brush them with wins for the north and northeast at approximately miles per hour. I'm due to -- dry vegetation in the hands someone like whether this is that we've had here throughout this year and into January. Part of part was over Saturday's a razor -- whether it's here where where red flag fire weather right now. Nelson mentioned earlier that there are over 700. Personnel scarecrow. But numerous resources throughout the departments throughout this region. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our department alone has over 500 members here. Because we -- staffed originally initially because of this weather that the district to a multi alarm incident. That we were quickly it would soon dispatch seventy partridge -- -- surrounding departments initially to combat this fire. Because of our preparation. We were able to save hundreds not thousands of homes this morning and fortunately we have a confirmation that we've lost two homes. We do have one civilian injury unfortunately. I'm due to minor burns -- we currently don't have any firefighter injuries at this time in addition to that because of our staffing our preparedness. I'm all five go to conference and -- these kind of part of armory here but I'll support money city and other departments. Along with the approval from the board of supervisors to extend. Our current agreement with the super -- typically they would leave beginning of December object but because of -- extreme fire conditions and extreme drought conditions. That contract has been extended indefinitely. So we also have a -- -- -- here fly today to help control the sensitive. Thank you chief next up -- chief John. -- chief John Tripp JO HN ET ER I PP in and the incident commander in Los Angeles county fire department. -- has been stated once we identified the -- that the incident that we would have civilians in immediate harm. We got -- our law enforcement partners and we started doing mandatory evacuations as the buyer came down in the neighborhoods. -- which immediately putting civilians in harm's way and also structures that -- in the path of the fire. We and is slowly start out with a third alarm according to agents and now we bump that up to an additional seventy agents. That are on scene doing structured offense and protecting more structures from becoming involved. We set up a command that basically sliced up the front country behind us from -- doubt Glendora mountain road over a highway 39. And we've got command and we've got energy companies still in the neighborhoods because although you may not see active -- They're still a lot of -- state under a distinguished embers. That could still pose danger to all these homes. So I know people are gonna -- get back in these neighborhoods. But isn't going to remain unsafe. For the public for at least the rest of the day and will be looking -- -- populated with debt sheriff's department later on. Another. Strategy that we had -- look at immediately. There were gonna get a wind shifted and that was something that we -- that started so the fire's gonna start moving north. Potentially. So -- the -- -- we put a plan in place to pledge. Bulldozers hand crews and aircraft. Up on the ridge. On the north end of the fire to stop the fire from progressing farther in the Angeles National Forest. With cooperation of the Angeles National Forest we've ordered up a federal incident management team. And we will be doing a transfer of command to them. Later on today or first thing in the morning. The evacuations were handled by a number of different law enforcement agencies -- -- let them go over what the evacuation areas are now -- ninety. We'll be given a Los Angeles county sheriff's office -- we have chief James romance. Marty thank you my name is chief James Lopez LO PC Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. As we mentioned previously we are -- unified command with our. Fire up. And colleagues. These share Boko ordered the department operations centered open up is supported this incident we have an incident management team. Command staff on site supporting the incident as well. We have approximately 250. Deputy -- its support of that this -- fire effort. Including thirty that are on ready standby to assist in any additional evacuations. That we may have. In cooperation with -- Glendora PD and is -- -- police departments we've assisted them in the evacuations of certain areas of their city. In the city of Glendora we have Glendora mountain road to the east. Sierra moderate to the south. And Yucca ridge to the west. In the city of -- -- We have the Yucca ridge road to the east zero moderate -- the south. And highway 39 -- in the west. Our current concern obviously -- should the fire spread. And and in collaboration with our up fire partners. And we're looking at a potential evacuation site. And we've ordered. Voluntary evacuations of equine and farm animals. In east Dundee there's -- canyon I'm -- west that he uses a canyon road and the saint -- rally valley riverbed. If the fires should jump in that area we're going to request. The immediate evacuation. Of the east border which would be -- -- until part way in the city at the warranty. The south the southern border would be royal oaks boulevard royal oaks drive in the city of toward. And the western border would be Dorado drive which is just inside the city of Monrovia. That would encompass essentially one quarter of the city and to do -- Marty. Parts part of this -- and the entire city of Brad bury. We're asking that we're gonna be utilized the alert LA system which is -- reverse -- back which would doubt be able to allow us to notified via telephone. DNA infected areas for evacuation. Obviously I'd like to and make sure that everybody in the impacted area remembers that public safety is our first concern. Assess your personal safety do not wait until you receive some sort of a notification. You must be aware of your surroundings. Once the areas of of them are evacuated. Will announce an evacuation -- areas in which people that have been displaced and -- go to. And will be working with our elected officials how to patrol to maintain security patrols in those areas that are evacuated to ensure. That those vacated homes -- say. Thank you. Thank you chief. Next up from the city of -- blend our we have mayor Jose -- -- -- -- -- -- -- First bottom mining is -- actually in keel RO. Experts are like to thank -- are preached and expressed her appreciation to the many firefighters. And -- -- partners who are here who responded so quickly to this is an -- This morning at about 6 o'clock and look pretty terrible and air and it was spreading very fast and and -- tell -- it's a very scary situation. -- county fire department responded. Terrific -- their version now and I really believe that they really saved a lot of houses and possibly a lot of homes. And our law enforcement agencies. Both the going door police department and our partners responded quickly with our mutual aid where we immediately started. Evacuations. And -- you -- drove to seen. What are the things said that we're very happy about his and we want to thank is one of our alert citizens. This morning woke -- been called in -- fire quickly and allowed us to respond. We -- -- citizen call in and say there was a suspicious couple a suspicious bellows. Moving down from the hill into the wash and we responded a patrol unit -- and the patrol units in both of them in the custody. Or this particular incident that's being investigated and chief stopped can probably talk a little bit more about that. I'd like -- ask the citizens of Glendora. Please pay attention to the firefighters and the police officers when he asked you to leave. Her when he asked you not to -- in a particular area because it's very important to them and to the safety of our community. -- -- dad I want to just express my appreciation again we're that for the job that -- done that's been absolutely wonderful. It is there. Next up from Glendora PD we have chief Tim stopped. Good morning everyone my name is Tim stop and the chief of police here in the city of Glendora. Stop -- SAT eight AD two rays one B. This morning a little bit before 6 o'clock we where we received calls of fires up in the hills are officers responded. Along with our partners that -- LA county fire US Forest Service. We did receive a call from a citizen who advised that two people suspiciously or walking away from the fire. Our officers responded corporal Miranda -- them. Detain them and there was a third person who is. Who was given a ride down. From Glendora mountain road taken out of that the fire danger area by US Forest Service that person as well subsequently was detained. All three those people are currently in the Glendora city jail they've -- all three had been booked or recklessly starting a fire. -- bail is set at 20000 dollars you can get those names currently on the Glendora police department web site -- -- PV dot org. As a result of this fire we have two evacuation centers set up here in the city of Glendora one is that one of our parks. It's at the legion center 159 north -- avenue we encourage any resident. Who needs temporary placement to come by. The that it's the legion hall at feet minor -- -- 59 north Collins our second evacuation center is at the Glendora high school 16100 east. Foothill boulevard -- four people who live up here we just. He was dating back to stay away you don't have business up here please keep this streets. Unclear for our our emergency personnel. A we have -- -- officers and support personnel on the perimeter they have been more than happy to assist anyone who -- needs assistance. Hands. With battle alternate back over thank you. -- that will conclude this. Hagerstown we'll do questions please directed questions as somebody else to have VP -- loan. Major and secondly. He's done. That three people that we haven't -- sitting there all three males in their early twenties. Reportedly game were out. -- did -- a campfire they were tossing papers into the campfire. To a breeze. Reportedly a -- they kicked up. And and set this fire. The three -- one. Early twenties is a Glendora resident. One man has and -- just out of Irwindale and other one is a homeless man with Los Angeles. At this again all three are in custody all three are being held at the Glendora police department. City jail on 20000 dollar bill -- recklessly starting a fire. For. They are being cooperative we I've -- I've been told by detectives that one has -- emission. And had to our detectives and and has had. Admitted to setting this fire -- -- then you. It's not an it's not a camping area it's it's but people do camp up in that the hills above Glendora. No they were all three together -- that way it's told us is that all three of we're together at the time sitting around this campfire -- kicked out. And that's what caused this fire. Him. I don't know if they were letting -- that they told us they were camping out there's no evidence to indicate they -- living up there. We know that one of them has has told us -- -- he's homeless. He was just apologetic -- they were sitting around a campfire all three of them. And and dead and that is that breeze kicked out and that's where it -- -- the fire. You know I I don't have that debt that it. -- are being held for 20000 dollars here. -- -- -- Cubans are. It believe we we did a really good job we had been staff Beano before service -- had been staffing augmented staffing so we were. The staffing 24 hours a day since that. Last Sunday so we have the resources. Hear from both the Forest Service and l.'s Los Angeles county fire -- both agencies knew that we had this wind event. And both agencies. Stepped up their staff being about to get as soon as wind of it. I can't confirm exactly there is a challenge on all the water supply we had the water department I'm -- -- us. And we were using. As much water that was available to us I have any reports. But there is any water problems. -- that there is some of these areas that are very remote so there's now a lot of fire hydrants. Give a lot of water to us. And exactly that structure I can't give details on one other thing on the response though. Anywhere where our boundaries -- We have what's called an initial actions -- through an agreement. So the forest in the county fire department respond a full first alarm. Regardless of what dirt it's on or whose whose jurisdiction so LA county had a full first response with 24 units right on and I'm among -- -- in addition to the Forest Service in -- We'll have to get back -- on that later on we'll look more into that. Exactly -- situation up there I've watched. Problem that's -- that's what always gives us access. Is that people in fast on defending their homes by staying in readiness for 364 days before the fire and having -- -- ready set go. -- our firefighters that also are going as people are running out there in harm's way with fire coming Adam they're able to get into a safe area and defend the homes. Belichick case -- there's only two houses that are can't. When we had this many hundreds of thousands of loans that are subject to laws we do would hearted act is a success of that wrestler. -- We're following up -- that the person there was a person that did. Suffered some burns and was transported opt out to a hospital we're still getting information back exactly what -- that particulars of the situation. That causes what's the extent of the injuries were following up and I don't have a location it was somewhere dynamic in their neighborhoods. Back and we have a very large area so we'll try to get back to you later on. This fire can still go west like it's been going for the last few hours -- can still go north. If it goes -- -- they can also look around. His saint Gabriel canyon they come down this canyon which was a fire that happened in in November of 1980. In that the party area and we lost. Probably eighty homes and there during that -- -- that's a very big concern for us is that tied a perimeter and so the fire doesn't jump over -- forever ignored. That's our priority right now as we speak. I'm optimistic that the weather's giving us a break. And I'm optimistic that when the -- you look at the topography. Over in San Gabriel canyon. We get the river bed -- and in that gives us an opportunity to pick it up advocates in their. But again the weather's -- the weather has been very erratic for the last four days. We -- Santa Ana winds surface. On and off. Just like today. This was really not that strong -- compared to what we -- the last three or four days. And this is about a twenty mile an hour winds so we can have a lot of things changed and that's why we're -- Still treating this just as important and diligent as we did at 6 o'clock in the morning and now it's time parts of that are laying down. And that's where we're focusing on other areas that could spur out of their -- It. We we don't have any containment numbers. We're actively doing containment and we're trying to get that situation status back. For our next press briefing. I'm sure there is some contain especially the bulldozers operating out there. Holmes all in the area -- all that fire came down -- backyards and some of the went out a lot of it is embers that have to be put out. So -- to get with a wind shift and that all is and that when it's those embers we could get fire popping up throughout this whole operating area. Yes. Even watching a news conference with both officials from both Glendora and Los Angeles, California talking about this Glendora wildfire. In which many people have been evacuated at least. Several homes have been burned and several more are in jeopardy as you can see -- that shot right there -- One important update three men in their twenties have been detained and booked with starting this fire. Apparently one of those -- suspects had made -- admission that they were together. It started -- campfire where they shouldn't happen to breeze blew that campfire. Into what you see right now raging wildfire. Just a short distance from Los Angeles right now 17100. Acres already burned. And hundreds of firefighters on the scene continuing. To battle that fire we will keep you. Up to speed with the very latest as we continue our coverage. Here at For now that we -- signing off on Taina Hernandez in New York.

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

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