Man trying to kill spider with lighter starts 60-acre fire, deputies say

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A man is facing charges in Utah after investigators say he started a massive fire when he tried to kill a spider using a lighter.

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The fire, which started Monday afternoon, grew to approximately 40 acres by the time fire crews arrived, KSL reported.

“As fire (crews) responded, they got to the area where it appeared that the fire had started, and there was a man there with his dog,” Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon told KSL. “(The man) told them that he was there and that he was the one who started it and that he had been using a lighter to burn a spider.”

The fire was brought under control using two helicopters, with one dropping water and retardant on the flames while the other served as a lookout, KUTV reported.

The fire grew to approximately 60 acres, according to Utah Fire Info.

“Not sure exactly why he felt the need to 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 told KTVX.

Update on the Springville fire. The fire is not threatening any homes, and there are currently no evacuations....

Posted by Provo Fire & Rescue on Monday, August 1, 2022

While the suspect was not identified, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said the man would be charged, and that after his arrest deputies found drugs and paraphernalia in his backpack. In addition to drug possession charges, deputies told KTVX that the suspect is being charged with reckless burning, which carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox weighed in on the story, saying simply: “Um, don’t do drugs kids (and don’t start spiders on fire during a drought).”