Firefighters worked to get a handle on flames as they directly threatened homes in Santa Clarita.

Firefighters worked to get a handle on flames as they directly threatened homes in Santa Clarita. (KTLA-TV / August 8, 2010)

SANTA CLARITA -- Authorities say a 14-year-old boy attempting to smoke pot has confessed to starting a 40-acre wildfire that threatened about 50 homes in Santa Clarita.

The boy, from Saugus, was one of four people detained in connection with the blaze. He was booked on suspicion of arson, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.

The fire burned near the Copper Hill and Haskell Canyon area of Santa Clarita for most of Sunday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of about 50 homes in the area, said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Frederic Stowers.

Stowers reported the fire had been knocked down by 4:30 p.m. and that evacuees could safely return to their homes.

According to fire officials, two 14-year-old boys were spotted running from the fire's point of origin.

Parker said when the first boy confessed, he was arrested and the other boy was let go.

The boy was allegedly smoking marijuana and tried to light a pipe with a barbecue iron and dropped it, according to officials at the LA County Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

An adult male and a 16-year-old boy were also detained for interfering with firefighters.

Stowers said at least 150 firefighters and 4 water-dropping helicopters were on the scene, with a number of them devoted to structure protection.

Copper Hill Drive was closed to non-essential traffic as fire trucks and other firefighting equipment were brought into the area.

The fire started around 2 p.m. in a remote area of Santa Clarita.