Three boys were cited for reckless burning Monday after they played with fireworks, which started a brush fire in the Santa Cruz River in Marana, authorities said.

The boys — two 11-year-olds and a 15-year-old — were released to their parents, said Sgt. Jose Alvarez, a Marana Police Department spokesman.

After the fire began, the boys alerted a person walking nearby who called 911, said Alvarez.

Northwest Fire District firefighters were dispatched shortly before 5 p.m. to the fire at the river between Twin Peaks and Cortaro Farms roads, said Capt. Adam Goldberg, a spokesman for the fire district.

The fire, fueled by heavy brush and wind, was brought under control by about a dozen firefighters in one hour, Goldberg said. About a half-acre was burned, he said.

Goldberg urged parents to talk to their children about fire safety tips, and to ensure that children do not have access to lighters and matches.