Arson is a property damage offense with potentially severe consequences; and in some cases, arson can carry the same punishments as violent crimes. Even relatively minor offenses can become felonies depending on the circumstances. A property offense charge relies heavily on physical evidence and witness statements. The police must show that you knew you did not have a right to destroy or damage the property, that you intended to destroy or damage it, and that you physically committed the act that caused the damage. Under Nevada criminal law, arson is the act of starting a fire or causing an explosion for the purpose of destroying or damaging land, buildings or vehicles. Starting a fire is considered arson even if the fire goes out before causing any damage.
You can be charged with arson if you start the fire or set off the explosion, and you know:
The property belongs to another person, sits on property belonging to another person, or contains property belonging to another person.
The property is insured against damage, or that there is a mortgage or lien on the property held by someone other than yourself.
You can also be charged with arson, regardless of your intention, if you recklessly set a fire or set off an explosion without regard for the safety of other people or property.
That means if you do something like start a campfire or play with fireworks in a dry forest, and the fire causes damage; you could be charged with arson. The same applies if you accidentally start a fire that causes damage while trying to manufacture a controlled substance.