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Man charged with starting 370-acre Montebello brush fire

Man charged with starting 370-acre Montebello brush fire
A firefighting helicopter drops water on a fire that broke out in Montebello on Sunday. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

A homeless man was charged Tuesday with starting a 370-acre fire in Montebello that injured four firefighters, prosecutors said.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar faces one count of recklessly causing the Lincoln fire, which started Sunday and quickly spread into the Montebello Hills, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

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If convicted, Aguilar faces up to three years in prison, prosecutors said.

Aguilar was arrested Sunday as firefighters tackled the fast-moving fire that forced evacuations at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, including Legg Lake and a nearby shooting range.

The blaze, which was 80% contained Tuesday, ran up to oil derricks in the hills and prompted the closure of fields operated by PXP Oil.

Three Montebello firefighters suffered injuries. One hurt his neck and back in the hard landing of a helicopter, one suffered heat exhaustion and one injured his shoulder. An L.A. County firefighter also was injured.

The Lincoln fire is one of three blazes burning in Southern California.

Two others blazes — the Warm and Cabin fires — were burning Tuesday in the Angeles National Forest. Firefighters had nearly contained those fires.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

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