(Reuters) - Police in Utah arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of arson after he told officers he lit a brush fire that burned dozens of acres to signal for help after his car got stuck, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office said its deputies, local firefighters and Bureau of Land Management workers responded to a report of Monday's blaze, which destroyed up to 40 acres of old growth Cottonwood trees and other vegetation and threatened several structures.

In a statement, the sheriff's office said a vehicle had become stuck near where the fire started when the driver had tried to turn around on the hillside.

The driver, Weston Frank Vetere of Green River, Utah, "told law enforcement that he had started a fire as a signal for help," the statement said.


He was arrested and booked into the Grand County Jail on suspicion of arson, it said.

It was not immediately clear whether Vetere has an attorney.

One firefighter sustained burns when he stepped into a hole created by a burned-out stump and was transported to Moab Regional Hospital, police said.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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