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Man trying to kill spider with lighter sparked Utah wildfire: cops

A man determined to kill a spider with a lighter ignited a 60-acre wildfire in drought-stricken Utah, authorities said.

The suspect, who wasn’t immediately identified, was arrested Monday afternoon as 60 acres burned between Springville and Provo. He told responding deputies he had tried “using a lighter to burn a spider” before the fast-moving blaze broke out, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his backpack, department officials said.

The fire did not destroy any buildings or prompt any evacuations, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

But the firebug’s shocking admission caught the eye of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who took the opportunity to send a message to the state’s younger crowd.

“Um, don’t do drugs kids (and don’t start spiders on fire during a drought),” Cox tweeted late Monday.

The suspect, who wasn’t immediately identified, was arrested Monday afternoon as 60 acres burned between Springville and Provo. He told responding deputies he had tried “using a lighter to burn a spider” before the fast-moving blaze broke out, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, who wasn’t immediately identified, was arrested Monday afternoon as 60 acres burned between Springville and Provo.
Provo Fire & Rescue

The fire sent smoke throughout Utah Valley, where crews from Springville, Provo, Mapleton and Utah County fire departments responded, KUTV reported.

Two helicopters were also sent to the scene as flames crept up a nearby mountainside. One of the choppers drew water from a reservoir to dump on the blaze, Provo fire officials told the station.

It’s unclear why the man resorted to using a lighter in his ill-guided attempt to kill the spider, Utah County sheriff officials said.

The fire sent smoke throughout Utah Valley, where crews from Springville, Provo, Mapleton and Utah County fire departments responded, KUTV reported.
The fire sent smoke throughout Utah Valley, where crews from Springville, Provo, Mapleton and Utah County fire departments reportedly responded.
Provo Fire & Rescue

“We don’t know why he was doing that,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told KSL late Monday. “He has been arrested and is being booked into jail right now on a fire-related charge.”

The man, who was arrested east of Springville on drug possession and reckless burning charges, had been in the area with his dog, KTVX reported

“Not sure exactly why he felt the need to have to burn the spider, but you know, all the regret in the world doesn’t change the outcome based on whatever reason there was for him doing that,” Cannon said.

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