Utah Man Allegedly Started Wildfire by Trying to Kill Spider with a Lighter

Cory Allan Martin allegedly admitted starting the fire, which has burned more than 60 acres

Springville Fire Utah
The Springville wildfire. Photo: Fox 13 News Utah

Authorities allege that a Utah man who tried to kill a spider with a lighter wound up starting a wildfire that has scorched more than 60 acres of U.S. Forest Service land.

Jail records confirm that Cory Allan Martin, 26, was arrested Monday evening for investigation of reckless burning.

The Draper man is also facing possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia charges, after a search of his bag turned up marijuana along with various smoking accessories.

The first reports about a fire started coming into dispatchers at approximately 5 p.m. on Monday.

Officials responded to the foothills east of Springville, where they came across a man who'd allegedly acknowledged starting the fire.

That man — who police identified as Martin — was escorted down the mountain to speak with deputies from the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

While speaking to investigators, "he told law enforcement he was using a lighter to burn a spider," reads an Utah County Sheriff's Office statement.

Instead, the lighter ignited dry brush in the area, and the fire started rapidly spreading. The area where the fire started has been experiencing a drought.

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Martin was taken into custody at the scene.

As of Wednesday morning, the Springville fire was reported to be 90 percent contained.

"Firefighters will hike the right and left flanks, continuing to secure the perimeter and checking interior for hot spots where safe to do so," according to a statement from Utah Wildfire Info, an information center for state and federal firefighters.

It was unclear Wednesday if Martin had entered pleas to the charges against him or had a lawyer who could comment on the allegations on his behalf.

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