- Oct 10, 1999
Utah man tries to burn spider to death, sparks huge wildfire
In an unfortunate series of events, a Utah man allegedly tried to kill a spider with his lighter and ended up causing a 60-acre wildfire.
The fire started Monday at 5 p.m. and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office later announced that officials had arrested Cory Allan Martin, NBC reported. The fire consumed federal land east of Springville, which is part of metropolitan Provo.
The 26-year-old was found in possession of a jar of marijuana and drug paraphernalia; however, he did not seem under the influence at the time of his arrest, officials said.
Martin was first spotted by firefighters at the scene of the fire. They walked him to police after he allegedly confessed.
“Cory stated he found a spider on the mountain and was attempting to burn the spider with a lighter,” according to an affidavit filed to support the arrest that was obtained by NBC.
“When he attempted to burn the spider, the surrounding brush ignited and the fire began spreading very rapidly.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that Martin was quiet and not talkative but did not seem like he was under heavy influence of any drugs at the time of his arrest.
He told two deputies the same story, but the reasons as to why he tried to kill a spider using his lighter still remain unclear.
“There may not be a why. He might not even know a why,” Cannon told CBS news.
The fire burned all the way up the mountain and multiple fire agencies and air support units responded, with overnight rain also helping to douse the fire.
No homes were affected and by Tuesday afternoon, the fire was 90 per cent contained.
The arid region of Utah is prone to wildfires, there have been over 600 fires so far this year, burning around 25,000 acres of land. Approximately 54 per cent of these fires are caused by humans and can thus easily be prevented, Kuer public radio reported.
Martin was released from jail on Tuesday after bail was set at $2,000. His case has been sent to the Utah County Attorney’s office, which will decide whether he will face charges.
The reasons as to why Cory Martin tried to kill a spider using his lighter still remain unclear. 'There may not be a why. He might not even know a why'