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4 junior high students arrested in arson-related field fire in West Valley City

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 19 2012 1:11 p.m. MDT

WEST VALLEY CITY — Four junior high school students have been arrested and referred to juvenile court in connection with a field fire last week.

One of the juveniles is also believed to be responsible for a previous arson-related fire in the same field.

On Friday, fire crews responded to a field fire near 5800 West and 3600 South in a residential area. It was the third fire in the neighborhood in a week, according to residents. Friday's fire burned about an acre. No structures were damaged.

"It was an intentional act," said West Valley City Police Sgt. Mike Powell.

A 13-year-old boy was charged with two counts of arson in connection with that fire and another similar one in the same area on Aug. 31, Powell said. Another 13-year-old boy was charged with one count of arson. A third 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were charged with abandoning a fire.

The third fire, a small one in the backyard of a home, is still being investigated.

Investigators do not believe the youths were trying to burn any houses. But homeowners expressed growing concern after last week's fire that they might not be as lucky next time if strong winds were to fuel the flames before firefighters could respond.

Pat Reavy

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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