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17 arrested for wildfires in forest areas across Greece

The Crime Directorate of the Greek Fire Service has arrested at least 17 people for causing wildfires in forest areas across Greece. The last two arsonists were arrests took place on Monday in Ilia, Peloponnese.

Two brothers aged 31 and 20 years old, were arrested by the Fire Brigades in Geraki, Ilia, for having set two fires a day earlier. the brothers, who are breeders, confessed that they were laying the fires in forest areas in order to create pastures for their flocks. But also “because they liked to see aircraft and helicopters extinguishing the wildfires,” media report. they had set one fire at 3 pm on Sunday and another one four hours later. The fire service investigates whether they are responsible for another three wildfires in the area in August.

From beginning of the year until August 15th, authorities have arrested a total of 15 arsonists who have laid fires on purpose. In 2016, arrests amounted to 54 people and in 2015 to 66.

The majority of arsonists has declared that they were workers, pensioners and farmers/breeders.

  • Workers 30.79%
  • Pensioners 18.29%
  • Farmers – Breeders 17.59%

In many cases of forest fires, investigators have found mad-shift mechanism such as mosquito snakes and matches, pieces of fiber and ropes soaked in flammable liquid camping gas and petrol canisters, wicks, bolts and matches.

Once a wildfire breaks out, fire service investigators move to the area seeking the blaze origin and cause, while their firefighting colleagues extinguish the fire.

They evaluate testimonies, telephone calls to the Fire Service, and read the signs the wildfire has left behind. They use 14 combustion indicators.

With special equipment and magnets, investigators find evidence that reveals whether it was arson from negligence, especially when wildfires occurred during works outdoors.

A unit of the Fire Service Crime Directorate is currently on the island of Zakynthos, where more than 80 wildfires have been recorded since the beginning of the fire fighting period in the summer months. Many of these wildfires have been attributed to arson.

More than half of the wildfires this summer that broke out across the country were caused by human hand.

The detectives/investigators are the only ones allowed to carry weapons within the Fire Service. – source: ERT also exlusive video.

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