Man trying to burn a spider ignites wildfire in Utah County, police say

Man trying to burn a spider ignites wildfire in Utah County, police say

Drugs were found in the man’s backpack, according to police.

(Provo Fire and Rescue) A man who told police he was burning a spider with a lighter, which reportedly sparked a wildfire in Utah County, was arrested Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.

With the help of a rainstorm, firefighters were able to control a Utah County fire that police said was started by a man who was trying to burn a spider.

The fire, reported about 4:30 p.m. on Monday, moved quickly up the mountain along the border between Springville and Provo and burned about 60 acres, according to Utah Wildfire Info.

Crews from multiple agencies fought the fire on the ground as helicopters dropped water on it from above. Rain reduced the heat of the fire, and crews remained on scene to monitor hotspots through the night.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the blaze was 90% contained, fire officials reported.

According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon, spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the man suspected of starting the blaze told investigators he was using a lighter to burn a spider. Officers found “drugs and paraphernalia” in the man’s backpack when he was taken into custody.

There were no evacuations, and no structures were threatened. But the wildfire caught the attention of Gov. Spencer Cox, who chimed in on Twitter, citing the allegations and adding, “Um, don’t do drugs kids (and don’t start spiders on fire during a drought).”

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