Thursday a judge charged Isaac Garza of Harlingen with arson.
Wednesday night the 17-year-old and a friend wanted to cook a fish they caught.
Garza started a campfire.
It turned into a 15-acre blaze outside Rio Hondo.
"Basically these guys started a fire. They looked back and said, 'Oh man. That's out of control,' and they booked it, said Cameron County Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera.
Cameron County Emergency Management and Cameron County Constable's Office Precinct Four found Garza Thursday.
Barrera said Garza denied playing a part in the scorcher but later admitted to it.
"What these gentlemen should have done was pretty much fessed up, cowboyed up to call and said, ~We were there, and this is how it started, TM said Barrera.
Right now the other man involved in the fire is not being charged, because authorities said he did not start the fire.
A judge gave Garza a $5,000 bond.
"The thing with the law is that you don't have to intentionally do something in order for it to have criminal repercussions, said Barrera.
These gentlemen were kind of reckless with how they started the fire, and they were reckless on how they handled the fire."
A call from Garza to 911 could have helped his case.
Instead, his decision to flee could burn his chances at a lesser punishment.
No homes were damaged in the fire, but two homes were evacuated during it.
At least four fire departments spent about two hours getting the blaze under control.