UTAH COUNTY, Utah (KTVX) – A 26-year-old man accused of starting a wildfire south of Salt Lake City on Monday told authorities he was using a lighter to burn a spider.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Cory Allan Martin, 26, told law enforcement he was using a lighter to burn a spider he spotted while hiking in the area. Martin said he started the fire by accident, setting some brush on fire.
He didn’t explain why he was trying to burn the spider.
“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,” said Utah County Sergeant Spencer Cannon.
Sgt. Cannon says he’s still scratching his head over the incident but called it a reckless decision.
“What led him to stop and notice a spider and decide to try to burn it, we don’t know,” Cannon said. “There may not be a why. He might not even know a why.”
Though Martin was found to have a jar of marijuana, authorities said he didn’t appear to be high.
Martin was booked into Utah County Jail and is facing a drug possession charge and a reckless burning charge — which carries up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 dollars.
The fire spread quickly up the mountain and had burned less than one square mile as of Tuesday. No homes have been damaged, and authorities say the blaze is currently at 90 percent containment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.