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.
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.