Up until 2nd August 2017, the GNR had investigated the causes of 8122 fires, concluding that 40% of the occurrences, that is, 3320 fires, had negligent causes.
Then there were 1374 fires that were caused with intent, 17% of the total.
There were 699 fires, 9% of the total that originated from re-ignitions and only 82, only 1%, which arose from natural causes.
It should be noted that some 2647 or 33% of fires had an unknown cause
The truth is that in 85% of cases the fires were caused by human intervention “, highlights Major Ricardo Alves of the GNR Nature and Environmental Protection Service (SEPNA). As for the fires caused by re-ignitions, they show “that post-fire surveillance did not work.”
According to the National Commander of Civil Protection, Rui Esteves, on Wednesday, 38% of last week’s incidents occurred “at night”, meaning they had a “criminal hand.”
This year, the GNR has identified 700 individuals as potential arsonists in the country’s villages and rural areas. They are referenced in the system. “Of the 62 detained that the Judiciary Police did this year for the crime of forest fire, about 40 were suspects that the GNR had already identified.” The GNR can only detain suspects of the forest fire crime if caught in the act: it has already stopped 32 (29 men and three women).
There are now 94 detained by the two criminal investigation bodies, a “record” reported last week by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Constança Urbano de Sousa. Of the 62 arrested by the PJ this year, 26 were remanded in custody. Source Diarios de Noticais