An 11-year-old Arizona boy is facing felony charges for starting a brush fire that destroyed two buildings at the height of wildfire season, officials said.
The fire started Saturday at a defunct golf course in Yavapai County, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, and spread to two non-inhabited structures and within 20 feet of a home and caused $30,000 in damages, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook Thursday.
Moments before the conflagration began, witnesses saw three boys playing with aerosol cans and a lighter and investigators found the 11-year-old “intentionally” set the fire, cops said.
The two boys he was with tried to get him to stop and put out the flames before they were out of control but were unsuccessful, the sheriff said.
“We truly hope this 11-year-old learned his lesson. Wildland crews and firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the residents in our community. YCSO is going to [hold] those responsible accountable,” Sheriff David Rhodes said in a statement.
“We are well into wildfire season and as we head into the holiday weekend, we want everyone to understand just how quickly brush fires can start and how dangerous they can be to the community.”
The kid is facing three felony charges for arson of a structure, criminal damage and endangerment and one misdemeanor charge for reckless burning, the sheriff said.
It’s not clear if he’s been arrested yet.