Firefighter is accused of starting forest wildfire
30 August 2005, CELANOVA, OURENSE — An experienced firefighter has been arrested for starting up a forest fire on purpose.
30 August 2005
CELANOVA, OURENSE — An experienced firefighter has been arrested for starting up a forest fire on purpose.
The 51-year-old, named only as E.A.G., has worked for two years in a fire brigade in Ourense in Galicia, scene of scores of forest fires last week.
He is alleged to have started a fire near Celanova, a small town in the Galician region of Ourense.
The fire allegedly threatened houses near Tixosa de Poulo, in the region of Celanova.
It was put out quickly by volunteer firefighters.
The man has been detained in custody.
The state prosecutor in Ourense, Carmen Eiró, told EFE the suspect was detained after neighbours in Tixosa de Poulo, alleged he told them he would "set fire to the mountain so they would all know who he was".
But the man claimed he wanted burn and bury a dog who had died.
The mayor of Gomesende, Radigundo Cortés, said the suspect had worked for two years in a brigade fighting forest fires.
He also worked for a construction company but left after six months because he claimed he preferred to work as a firefighter for the local brigade.
The case comes after the Spanish environment minister claimed the vast majority of the 19,000 wildfires have been started by arsonists or are the result of human carelessness.
Cristina Narbona provoked controversy by saying fewer than one in 20 of this summer's blazes, which have killed more than a dozen firefighters, could be attributed to "natural causes".
The rest, about 18,000, had been started by people - including arsonists hoping to gain financially - who were later protected by a conspiracy of silence among their families, friends and neighbours.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news