Irishman sentenced for starting Crete fire

Irishman sentenced for starting Crete fire

27 July 2008

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Greece — A court on the Greek island of Crete has sentenced a 20-year-old Irishman to a suspended sentence of three months in prison for starting a fire by negligence.

The unidentified Irishman burned 500 sq.m of brush and olive trees in Hersonissos, eastern Crete on Friday by setting dry brush alight, the fire department said.

He was arrested by firemen soon afterwards.

Hundreds of fires have broken out in Greece this summer, many of them by negligence and assisted by dry weather conditions.

Another fire started by mistake by a 61-year-old man on the Aegean island of Rhodes is still burning after six days and has destroyed over 5,000 hectares (12,350 acres) of forest and brush.

Last year, devastating forest fires left 77 people dead and burned 270,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land.

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