Idaho police charge boys, 8, for starting wildfire

AP News
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Posted: Sep 01, 2011 10:56 AM
Idaho police charge boys, 8, for starting wildfire

Two 8-year-old Pocatello, Idaho, boys are charged with third-degree arson for a fire that destroyed a house and burned more than 1,200 acres of public and private land.

Bannock County Deputy Prosecutor Ian Service says the boys are accused of starting the so-called Drive-In fire on Aug. 15 in Pocatello.

He says they were playing with matches and a lighter, and had ignited and extinguished several smaller fires before one burned out of their control.

Officials estimate more than $750,000 was spent fighting the blaze.

Service says he doesn't intend to lock up the boys but send a message that playing with fire has consequences and can cause serious damage.

Third-degree arson is a felony, but the punishment for juveniles is less severe than adults.