From the beginning of the year until 11th September, the Republican National Guard (GNR) detained 51 people for setting fires in forest areas, having recorded 5269 forest fire crimes in the same period.

In a report the GNR notes that from the beginning of the year until 11 September 2019 it registered 5269 crimes, identified 482 people and detained 51 others for the forest fire crime, under article 274 of Criminal Penal Code. The penalty for forest fire crime can range from one to twelve years in prison or a fine .

The number of arrests decreased considerably compared to the same period last year. From January until August 2018, according to a statement released by the GNR website, 81 people were detained for fires. “Since January 1 of this year, , the GNR has carried out more than 30,000 patrols, which resulted in the identification of 708 suspects and the arrest of 51 arsonists,” reads the note.

Still, in recent days, there have been several cases. In Grândola, Setúbal district, a 41-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested for the forest fire crime that put a dwelling at risk. Also in Cinfães, Viseu district, a 41-year-old woman was arrested for starting a fire while clearing a plot of land; and in Arronches, Portalegre district, GNR detained  a 67-year-old man who set fire to a grazing area while riding a bicycle, to whom the preventive detention coercion measure was applied.

The GNR also identified a 17-year-old suspect of a forest fire crime in Resende, Viseu district, and an 81-year-old man who caused a fire by using fire to destroy a wasp nest, also in Viseu. Last week, three minors, all 13 yeaRS of age, were indetified in connection in respect of two forest fires that resulted in a total burned area of ​​about 1.5 hectares of forest patch belonging to the Sintra Natural Park.