A Utah man has been arrested for setting a forest fire while trying to light a spider with his lighter.
Cory Allen Martin, 26, told deputy he saw the spider on Monday when he was in a hiking area in the foothills south of Salt Lake City near the city of Springville, according to a probable cause statement. He admitted to setting the fire, but did not explain why he was trying to burn the spider.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant said the deputy found a jar of marijuana in his luggage, but he didn’t look high. Spencer Cannon.
Cannon said there was no evidence to suggest that he intentionally started the fire, but called it a reckless and shocking decision. This area and most of Utah are bone dry amid extreme drought conditions.
“What prompted him to decide to stop and notice a spider and try to burn it, we don’t know,” Cannon said. “Why can’t it be. He probably doesn’t even know why.”
The forest fire has burned at least 60 acres and 90% was contained As of Tuesday afternoon, according to state fire officials. No house has been damaged.
Court documents show that Martin was arrested on suspicion of reckless burning and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
He was in the Utah County Jail on Tuesday on bail of about $2,000. It was unknown whether he had a lawyer.
Many wildfires are burning in the western US amid hot, dry conditions. McKinney Fire in Northern California At least 55,000 acres have been scorched and have destroyed more than 100 houses since July 29. At least four people have died in the fire.