Criminal gangs suspected in Spanish fires

Criminal gangs suspected in Spanish fires 

12 August 2006

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Galicia, Spain — Authorities in Galicia are calling on the public to help them find the suspected arsonists behind fires raging in the Spanish region. Teams of locals are doing their best but for the moment they are losing the battle. Of 143 fires reported overnight, over 100 were out of control.

“These are criminal fires,” said one firefighter.
“They start in one place, then half an hour later somewhere else. Then it is somewhere else again.”

The fires have claimed three lives in Galicia, and seven in neighbouring Portugal.

A voluntary firefighter has been arrested on suspicion of starting several fires.

The mayor of Pontevedra is among those who believe a criminal gang is responsible.

“People have to work together to help the inquiry because failing to inform authorities is like helping the arsonists,” he said.

The Spanish army is working alongside the 7,000 firefighters battling the flames. Madrid has asked the European Union for assistance.


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