A teenager in Idaho was arrested after allegedly setting off fireworks and starting a fire that burned 28 acres. The 16-year-old has been charged with third-degree arson, according to a Facebook post from the Eagle Police Department on Thursday.
The boy was with a group of teens in Ada County last Saturday when he allegedly announced he wanted to set off a mortar-style firework. These fireworks are launched through a tube and then spark in the air.
The other teens said they told him not to do it in case a fire started.
The boy allegedly lit the firework, setting fire to nearby brush, which the group tried to put out. They then drove away, but one boy called 911 to report the incident.
The teen who allegedly lit the firework ran from the car before police arrived, but they found him a short time later. He was taken into custody at the Ada County Juvenile Detention Center and his case is being handled at Ada Juvenile Court.
Firefighters from several nearby departments were able to put out what is being called the Hartley fire. Still, 28 acres were burned.
CBS News has reached out to local law enforcement for further information and is awaiting response.
There are several forest fires currently burning in the state, according to a map that tracks the blazes. July and August saw the most fires, with 86 and 92 respectively, according to the state’s Department of Lands. There have already been 20 fires in September as of Friday.
Many of the fires are caused by humans, according to the department. While fire restrictions were lifted at the end of August due to rain and cooler weather, the department urged people to be vigilant when setting campfires.
“After rainstorms, moisture in our forests and rangelands can quickly evaporate, creating a false sense of security for people lighting campfires,” IDL Director Dustin Miller said earlier this month.
“Make sure you douse, stir, and repeat until your campfire is cold to the touch, every time, no exceptions,” Idaho Sportsmen Executive Director Benn Brocksome said.
Miller said any fire on Idaho’s 9 million acres is investigated. “If you start a fire negligently, under Idaho law you may be responsible for the entire cost of suppressing the fire, which can cost millions of dollars,” he said.
Other parts of the West are also experiencing wildfires, including northern California and southern Oregon. Smoke from those fires is affecting air quality in some places like the Bay Area,