The man who started a massive Utah wildfire on Monday may have been a little blazed himself.
Corey Allan Martin, a 26-year-old resident of Draper, UT, was hanging out in the mountains of Springville when he came across a spider. Afraid of spiders and a fan of fire, Martin decided the best way to get rid of the pesky arachnid was to torch it with his lighter. While the fire most likely killed the spider as intended, it also ignited the nearby brush that soon spread over 60 acres. Yep, a fire about the size of 3,000 football fields was started by a man trying to kill a single spider. That’s not it, though, the story gets even crazier.
When the fire department showed up to the scene of the inferno, they found Martin clinging to the mountain slope. He quickly admitted he was responsible for the flames and was taken to deputies for questioning. Police records indicate that Martin was arrested on charges of reckless burning by way of starting a fire and endangering human life, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana. Despite the last two charges, officers say that they do not believe Martin was actively high.
Of course, there is no true way to tell if Martin was under the influence of marijuana at that specific time as drug tests show all substances that remain in the person’s body, meaning weed would probably come up considering this probably isn’t Martin’s first rodeo. Despite the lack of objective evidence, deputies believe that Martin was sober.
“There was no indication Mr. Martin was heavily under the influence of drugs,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. “He was quiet and not very talkative, but that is not unusual when one finds they are the focus of a criminal investigation.”
So basically, despite finding “a jar of marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” the cops think Martin wasn’t high because he was acting shy. As someone who is well-versed in weed culture, I can confidently say that Martin was stoned.
Here is what I think went down: Martin showed up to the mountains with weed, a bong/bowl, and a lighter fully expecting to have a peaceful day relaxing in nature. Martin hit his little $20 bubbler that he bought at a convenience store and noticed a spider crawling towards him. Now high and paranoid, Martin did not want the bug to disturb his perfect day, so he took matters into his own hands. As a dude who is now baked, Martin wondered what a burning spider would look like. This is a common thought for all males. Not necessarily, how spiders burn, but just how things in general burn. Guys love fire is what I’m trying to say. Martin ended up getting a little loose with his lighting protocols and accidentally lit a small bush as well. One thing led to another in the midst of the summer heat and dry conditions, leading to a huge fireball engulfing the entire mountain.
The idea that Martin couldn’t be high because he wasn’t talkative is ridiculous. The dude was probably having a panic attack on the inside and the last thing he wanted to do is talk to the authorities. Obviously, Mormon cops have never smoked weed before so they have no idea what to expect, but I’m pretty confident they still think of weed like crack. So in their minds as long as his tongue wasn’t falling out of his mouth, he seemed sober.
It is possible that Martin did not get the chance to smoke on the mountain if he lit the spider up beforehand, but even if that is the case I still suspect that Martin had gotten high earlier in the day. This occurred at 5 P.M. If Martin smokes half as much as I think he does, there is no way he didn’t drive to the mountain already high.
Regardless of how the incident fully played out, the fire has thankfully been 90% contained and no injuries have been reported. Martin was released on $2,000 bail.
Do I blame Martin for the fire? Yes, of course. Could this same exact situation have happened to me? Oh, 100%, I hate spiders and fucking love setting shit on fire.