The man who allegedly started the 26-acre brush fire that threatened homes and forced evacuations last week near Airway Heights told police he was smoking THC oil from a pipe when sparks caught grass on fire and the flames spread, court documents said.
Levi Graham, 24, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless burning, according to the documents.
Graham told police he tried to extinguish the fire with a beer he was drinking, documents said. He then panicked, “knew the situation was bad” and ran away since the fire was getting out of control.
Graham told police he did not try to contact anyone about the fire and knew he was probably going to be in trouble and get arrested, court records said. This was not the first time he started a brush fire by smoking, he told police in the documents.
Police found two candle lighters, a marijuana container and a plastic pipe while searching Graham, documents said.
The fire started late Friday afternoon in the area of U.S. Highway 2 and Grove Road, Spokane County Fire District 10 Chief Ken Johnson said last week. It burned timber and grass and was driven by strong winds. Evacuations were lifted Saturday.
Johnson said Tuesday the blaze was 100% contained, and crews will continue to monitor the fire until there is no smoke coming from the area.
Graham remained in the Spokane County Jail on a $10,000 bond Tuesday night. He made his first court appearance Monday and is scheduled for an arraignment next Tuesday.