The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested three people Sunday in connection with a brush fire in the Santa Clarita Valley that scorched more than 40 acres and prompted the evacuation of 30 homes.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson and two others were arrested for allegedly obstructing firefighters, according to the department.
The fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Copper Hill Drive and Haskell Canyon Road. Firefighters had knocked down all visible flames by about 4:30 p.m.
The fire burned about 43 acres, and about 30 homes were evacuated, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The blaze was 60% contained by late Sunday.
Witnesses reported seeing two youths running from the area shortly after the fire broke out. About an hour and a half later, a sheriff's deputy detained two 14-year-old boys matching their description, sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said.
One of the boys admitted he was smoking marijuana when he dropped a barbecue lighter in the dry brush. He and his friend tried stomping on the fire but ran away when that didn't work, Parker said. The boy was charged with arson and his friend was released.
Anthony Fierro, 33, of Saugus and a 16-year-old boy were arrested after they defied repeated orders to move away from the fire, Parker said. The pair, who were not together, prevented helicopters from dropping water on the blaze, he said.
"They seem to have some extraordinary desire to be close to the fire," Parker said.