Starting or attempting to start a fire which causes or could have caused destruction of property or injury to another is punishable. The consequences vary on the property and the injuries caused or that could have resulted, if it was an attempt. Just attempting to start a fire with criminal intent is a crime. Setting fire to woodlands which run or spread at large is Sixth Degree Arson and punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine no more than $1000 or both. Furthermore, Seventh Degree Arson is setting a bonfire in a public street or land without permission can receive a fine of no more than $100.
Rhode Island General Laws § 11-2-7 Arson- Sixth Degree- Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids or counsels the destruction of woodlands by fire which shall run and spread at large shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned not exceeding two (2) years, or shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266. Section 8: Injury by fire; negligent use- Whoever, not being a tenant thereof, sets or increases a fire upon land of another whereby the property of another is injured, or whoever negligently or wilfully suffers any fire upon his own land to extend beyond the limits thereof whereby the woods or property of another are injured, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two years, and the town where such fire occurred may recover in an action of tort, brought within two years after the cause of action accrues, against any such person the expense of extinguishing such fire.
In Massachusetts, Chapter 266. Section 7: Woods; wanton or reckless injury or destruction by fire- Whoever by wantonly or recklessly setting fire to any material, or by increasing a fire already set, causes injury to, or the destruction of, any growing or standing wood of another shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two years.
Rhode Island General Laws § 11-2-8 Arson- Seventh Degree- Every person who shall make a bonfire in any public street, road, square, land or rotary, without special permission from the local governing body, shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266. Section 9: Injury by fire; negligent use in town; damages – Whoever, in a town which accepts this section or has accepted corresponding provisions of earlier laws, sets a fire on land which is not owned or controlled by him and before leaving the same neglects to entirely extinguish such fire, or whoever wilfully or negligently sets a fire on land which is not owned or controlled by him whereby property is endangered or injured, or whoever wilfully or negligently suffers a fire upon his own land to escape beyond the limits thereof to the injury of another, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment in jail for not more than one month, or both, and shall also be liable for all damages caused thereby. Such fine shall be equally divided between the complainant and the town. This section shall not apply to cities.