The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 26-year-old Corey Alan Martin after he admitted starting a wildfire while trying to burn a spider.
On August 1, UCSO deputies responded to a call about a prairie fire that started on the Bonneville Shoreline between Springville and Provo, Utah. When the deputies arrived at the site, the fire was roughly the size of a home garage but spread quickly.
“It started very small, about the size of a spider,” Springville fire chief Henry Clinton told local news. “I’ve never heard that before. This is the first time for me in 40 years.”
It’s already well run up the hill, and the fire crews will be hard to reach. No name on fire yet from Tweet embed
KUTV2 News pic.twitter.com/yBD9drwiGm
– Jeremy Harris (@JeremyHarrisTV) August 1, 2022
Martin was on the scene when deputies arrived and admitted he was trying to burn a spider with his lighter when a bush caught fire. The fire began to spread rapidly up the mountain, according to a possible cause statement.
“What caused him to stop and notice a spider and decide to try to burn it, we don’t know,” UCSO Sgt. Spencer Cannon told CBS News. “There may be no cause. He may not even know the cause.”
After deputies put Martin in custody, they found a jar of marijuana and personal paraphernalia in his backpack while searching his belongings.
# Springville Fire: One of the contracting state’s helicopters assists ground crews with water drops.
🎥: Tweet embed
– Utah Fire Information (UtahWildfire) August 2, 2022
UCSO booked Martin for reckless burning, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents. He was released on bail the same night and is due to appear in court later this month.
Several agencies responded to the fire, including Utah County Fire, Springville Fire, and Provo Fire & Rescue. Heavy rain and air support helped the efforts of firefighters to quickly put out the fire.
As of Thursday morning, the Springville Fire has burned nearly 60 acres of land near Springville, Utah, which is It is 100 percent contained. Fire officials are still monitoring the burning site but expect to reopen the shutdown as soon as the weekend.
There is currently only one major fire in Utah. The Halfway Hill Fire, which burned nearly 11,700 acres of land north of Cedar City, was started by an abandoned campfire. Law enforcement officials have arrested four suspects for abandoning fires, according to the Millard County Sheriff’s Department.
More than 650 fires across Utah this season have burned more than 25,000 acres. Humans caused 54 percent of all fires in the state, according to the Utah Fire Dashboard. Additionally, prolonged drought conditions are exacerbating the fire season, with more than 99 percent of the state experiencing a severe drought level or worse.