A total of 119 suspects have been arrested for arson as serious fires have hit Portugal due to a heat wave and severe drought, causing consequences for 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” as a result of inspection work carried out jointly by the military police, the National Republican Guard, and the Judiciary Police, Xinhua news agency quoted Minister of Internal Administration Jose Luis Carneiro as saying on Sunday.
Carneiro revealed that “other investigations are underway to detect the causes of other fires, which could lead to other arrests”.
This year, the government strengthened “the inspection and surveillance mechanisms”, in conjunction with the Air Force, in addition to installing 230 fixed lookout posts and video surveillance, the minister added.
Carneiro expressed “unconditional” solidarity with the firefighters who fight the fires.
According to the Portuguese law, forests are not allowed to be used for construction or other usage.