A Utah man has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire while trying to burn a spider with his lighter.
Cory Alan Martin, 26, told deputies he spotted the spider Monday while he was in a hiking area in the foothills south of Salt Lake City near the town of Springville, according to a probable cause statement. He acknowledged that he started the fire, but did not explain why he was trying to burn the spider.
Deputies found a jar of marijuana in his possession, but it didn’t appear to be high, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said. Spencer Cannon.
There is no evidence to suggest he started the fire intentionally, Cannon said, but he called it a reckless and puzzling decision. This region and most of Utah is dry in the midst of extreme drought conditions.
“What led him to stop and notice a spider and decide to try to burn it, we don’t know,” Cannon said. “There may not be a why. He may not even know why.”
The fire has burned at least 60 acres and was limited by 90%. as of Tuesday afternoon, according to state fire officials. No homes have been damaged.
Martin was arrested on suspicion of reckless burning and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.
He was in the Utah County Jail Tuesday on nearly $2,000 bond. Unknown if he had a lawyer.
There are many wildfires in the western US amid hot, dry conditions. The McKinney Fire in Northern Californiaand destroyed more than 100 houses since July 29. At least four people died in the flames.