Utah County Jail records say Cory Allan Martin, 26, was arrested for investigation of reckless burning, as well as possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, according to KSL.com.
Even Utah’s governor Spencer Cox was astonished at the incident and tweeted on Monday: “Um, don’t do drugs kids (and don’t start spiders on fire during a drought).”
🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️“He was also found to be in possession of drugs and paraphernalia, so he will be booked for those charges as well."
Um, don’t do drugs kids (and don’t start spiders on fire during a drought). https://t.co/dD4ekBQ1LA
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) August 2, 2022
Authorities say that firefighters responded to the incident near Springville on Monday afternoon. When they arrived at the scene, they found the suspect who admitted he had started it.
Crews took him down the mountain to speak to police, and according to a booking affidavit, he told officers he had seen a spider and tried to burn it with a lighter.
“When he attempted to burn the spider, the surrounding brush ignited and the fire began spreading very rapidly,” the affidavit stated.
Police say that they later found a jar of marijuana and drug paraphernalia while searching his belongings, the arrest report adds.
Suspect arrested in fire east of Springville. He told law enforcement he was using a lighter to burn a spider. After he was arrested @UCSO Deputies found drugs and paraphernalia in his backpack. He is being booked into jail. (I may be out of connection for a period of time.)
— Utah County Sheriff (@UCSO) August 2, 2022
“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, “ Utah County Sergeant Spencer Cannon told ABC4.
And he added: “What led him to stop and notice a spider and decide to try to burn it, we don’t know. There may not be a why. He might not even know a why.”
The fire had grown to 60 acres of US Forest Service land by Tuesday morning, according to Utah Fire info. The suspect faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted.