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Man’s Attempt to Kill Spider Sparks Wildfire


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By Matthew Holloway
August 2, 2022 at 1:00pm

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A man who tried to kill a spider by burning it has been arrested for sparking a wildfire near Springville, Utah.

Cory Allan Martin, 26, of Draper was arrested after he reportedly informed authorities that he had lit a spider on fire with a lighter.

Police found the man between Provo and Springville Monday afternoon near the fire he started that has now engulfed 60 acres. The blaze was only 10 percent contained Tuesday morning.

The wildfire, now known as the Springville Fire, was first reported at approximately 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to Provo Fire & Rescue.

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“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-TV.

“(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. We don’t know why he was doing that. He has been arrested and is being booked into jail right now on a fire-related charge. … He was also found to be in possession of drugs and paraphernalia, so he will be booked for those charges as well.”

Fire crews from Provo Fire & Rescue, the Springville Fire Department, Mapleton and Utah County Fire departments responded to fight the blaze, with smoke visible throughout the Utah valley.

Air tankers assisted fire crews on the ground as they attempted to contain the fire.

KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City reported on Monday, “Capt. Sam Armstrong with the Provo Fire Department said a snorkel helicopter was sucking up water from a ‘pumpkin,’ or mobile water reservoir, and delivering it up above the flames. He said they were making good progress on the fire, but wind was driving flames further up the mountainside and away from homes.”

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“In this case his actions were more than ‘Oops, I accidentally started a fire,’ it was reckless to do what he was doing in the way he was doing it. I’m not sure why he felt the need to burn the spider,” Sgt.  Cannon said, according to KUTV.

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