Authorities said a 12-year-old girl is being charged for starting a wildfire in a wooded area behind a Flagstaff apartment complex.
Sgt. James Jackson with the Flagstaff Police Department said the girl found a cigarette lighter and started lighting pine needles on fire in the woods near Oakwood Village Apartments at 3700 South Yaqui on Wednesday afternoon. A 9-year-old friend told police they weren't able to control the fire so they ran off.
A police officer responded and found four people trying to contain a wildfire. Jackson said the group created an area around the blaze to contain it, similar to a fire line used by hot shot crews, and the officer put the fire out.
The apartment complex told police they had an anonymous call from a resident who overheard a girl telling another person that she caused the fire. The 12-year-old denied the allegations. Police then spoke with the 9-year-old girl who claimed the 12-year-old had started it. When police returned to the suspect's home, she admitted to starting the fire.
The 12-year-old was charged with reckless burning.
On Wednesday, there was extreme fire danger, strong winds and a Red Flag warning for the area. Police the quick thinking of the four witnesses and the officer stopped the fire from getting out of hand.
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