USA — A brush fire which destroyed 500 acres of soybeans in Chesapeake was sparked by fireworks.
The fire was in the 1200 block of Ballahack Road near the North Carolina border.
Chesapeake Fire Department spokesman Steve Johnson says witnesses saw two men playing with fireworks in the area before the fire started.
18-year old Ryan Everton faces misdemeanor charges of possession and use of fireworks, and a felony charge of burning standing crops.
The value of the soybean crop is estimated at $100,000.
Chesapeake fire officials were cracking down on illegal fireworks use Friday night by conducting a sweep through neighborhoods.
They issued 7 summons and warnings. The fire marshal said the goal was not to ruin fun but to enforce safety laws and prevent fires.
Its extremely dangerous, not only because its dry, we already had fires throughout the city caused by fireworks, but from a personal safety point its very dangerous, said William Hibner of the Chesapeake Fire Department.
Setting off fireworks in Chesapeake is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2500 fine.