WEST RICHLAND -- Two teens were arrested Sunday after they sparked a West Richland fire while burning ants with lighters.
Crews were called at 4 p.m. to the brush fire off Bombing Range Road and learned from a witness that two boys had been seen running from the area, said West Richland police acting Sgt. Terry Boehmler.
While firefighters with Benton Fire District 4 quickly got the flames under control, police tracked down the 13-year-old boys.
"They were a couple of blocks to the south running through fields, definitely trying to duck us," Boehmler said.
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The friends reportedly admitted to using lighters when some dried grass caught fire. It was about a half-mile from the firehouse.
The fire started on the undeveloped portion of a residential 2 1/2-acre lot. The boys did not know the homeowner.
Most of the flames burned through brush at 3805 Morab Street and 3970 Kiger Street, he said.
A total 1 1/2 acres was burned, resulting in land damage of $2,000, Boehmler said.
The damage could have been much worse since the three homes that faced the greatest fire danger are worth a total $1.2 million, he said.
The names of the boys were not released. One is from West Richland and the other Kennewick.
They were booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of second-degree reckless burning.