A Utah wildfire that erupted amid summer heat and relatively dry conditions may have been started by a man trying to burn a spider with a lighter, authorities said.
The Springville Fire started about 5 p.m. Monday and consumed 60 acres of federal land east of Springville, part of the Provo metropolitan area before state fire officials declared Tuesday that it was 90 percent contained.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Cory Allan Martin, of nearby Draper, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of causing the fire, possessing marijuana, and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Sheriff’s officials said firefighters came across the man on a mountain slope. He admitted to starting the fire, and they walked him to deputies. According to a sheriff’s affidavit filed to support the arrest:
Cory stated he found a spider on the mountain and was attempting to burn the spider with a lighter. When he attempted to burn the spider, the surrounding brush ignited and the fire began spreading very rapidly.
Martin was placed under arrest, and his belongings were searched, sheriff’s officials said. A jar of marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found, they alleged in the affidavit.