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Riverdale blaze started by kids lighting cottonwood tree fluff on fire, police say

Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 8:34 p.m. MDT

Emergency personnel respond to a grass fire in Riverdale, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Michelle Tessier, Deseret News) Emergency personnel respond to a grass fire in Riverdale, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Michelle Tessier, Deseret News)

RIVERDALE, Weber County — Officials believe children lighting the fluff from cottonwood trees ignited a nearly 5-acre blaze near homes Wednesday.

One child was on the Weber River Parkway near 3750 South and 600 West about 4 p.m. and lit some of the cotton seed on fire to show his friends how fast it burned, Riverdale Fire Chief Roger Bodily said.

The boy burned his hand and dropped the cotton, which fell into more cotton.

"It took off from there," Bodily said.

The fire was about 85 percent contained and had burned nearly 5 acres within two hours, Bodily reported.

The smoky fire burned along the edge of nearby homes, but no structures were threatened, Bodily said. Some residents evacuated as a precaution.

People set up a tent as emergency personnel respond to a grass fire in Riverdale, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Michelle Tessier, Deseret News) People set up a tent as emergency personnel respond to a grass fire in Riverdale, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Michelle Tessier, Deseret News)

Fire crews from Ogden, South Ogden, South Weber, Roy and the U.S. Forest Service assisted in fighting the blaze.

— McKenzie Romero

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company