Greece’s Fire Service has arrested 30 people in total as responsible for arson in the month of August, the service said in a statement on Monday. The arsonists were arrested for setting up 37 wildfires either intentionally or by negligence.
Seventeen of the arrested were charged for arson out of negligence.
Thirteen of them were charged for causing the wildfires intentionally.
The arrests were made across Greece. The majority of them has started fires in agricultural and forest areas , two to three in houses and apartments.
One of the arrested is a 32-year-old Greek, a serial arsonist, who has started a total of nine fires in the months of June, July and August in forest areas of the Municipality in Dirfys-Messapia on the island of Evia. One of the fires in Kontodespoti on Aug 12 got out of control, burned down 8,000 acres of forest and had two villages and one monastery evacuated.
In custody are five people for the wildfires in Geraki, Ilia, Peloponnese, in Stavros-Kontodespoti, Evia, in Rizaki by Marathonas in East Attica and Kanakia on the island of Salamina.
Three arsonists who set fires intentionally were sentenced to 2 years, to 1 year and to 32 months imprisonment on suspension respectively.
Released on restriction measures pending trial were three intentional arsonists responsible for fires in Karlovasi, Samos, in Maroulou by Rethymno, Crete and Rizia, Orestiada.
One of the arrested responsible for arson by negligence in Ano Katritsi, Patras, has been sentenced to 17 months on suspension.
Authorities have filed against sixteen arsonists by negligence who are waiting trial.
The arrests were conducted by the officers of the Department of Combating Arson Crimes as well as investigating officers of local fire services.
A 44-year-old Greek was arrested on Sunday Sept 2 for having started three fires in forest areas the Municipality of Ancient Olympia in Peloponnese. He had started one fire on August 21 and two on September 1st in an interval of 10 minutes
However, arsonists do not only start fires in forest areas.
Two Greeks aged 18 and 24 years old were arrested today Monday for having started a total of 13 fires in garbage bins and open spaces in Korydallos and Nikaia suburbs of Piraeus between Aug 21st and Sept 2nd. They have been arrested for intentional arson.
Wildfires in summer are a plague for Greece.
So far, nobody has been arrested for the deadly wildfire on 23. July in East Attica despite indications that it was arson. 98 people have lost their lives and more than 180 were injured in the unprecedented tragedy just 30 km away from the Greek capital Athens.