A total of 119 people have been arrested for arson as a result of serious fires caused by a heat wave and severe drought in Portugal, affecting agriculture and other primary supply systems.
“We have this year a detention rate that is already much more than double that of the previous years” According to Xinhua news agency, Minister of Internal Administration Jose Luis Carneiro stated on Sunday that the inspection work was carried out jointly by the military police, the National Republican Guard, and the Judiciary Police.
Carneiro stated that “other investigations are underway to determine the causes of other fires, which may result in additional arrests.”
The government strengthened “the inspection and surveillance mechanisms” this year in collaboration with the Air Force, as well as installing 230 fixed lookout posts and video surveillance, according to the minister.
Carneiro expressed “unconditional” support for the firefighters fighting the fires.
Forests are not permitted to be used for construction or other purposes under Portuguese law.