By Joshua Manning • 08 August 2022 • 10:11
Zaragoza wildfires sparked by reforestation work shows Guardia Civil investigation
Credit: Guardia Civil
Five people have been investigated over the Zaragoza reforestation work that caused the wildfires that affected nine municipalities in the province, burning more than 10,000 hectares of forest and forcing the eviction of 1,700 residents of four towns.
The fire spread rapidly, affecting the municipalities of Ateca, Bubierca, Moros, Villalengua, Terrer, Alhama de Aragón, Villarroya de la Sierra, Cetina and Embid de Ariza.
After learning of the incident, the specialists of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Zaragoza Civil Guard began an investigation to clarify the causes and circumstances in which the fire occurred, as well as the possible existence of responsibilities on the part of the persons or companies involved.
Once the exact point where the fire started was located and a study of its evolution was carried out, the Guardia Civil gathered numerous data and statements and obtained different indications that allowed them to determine that the fire had been caused by the blower of a backhoe machine working in the area hitting against a stone.
As a result of the various checks carried out during the investigation, the SEPRONA specialists determined that there may have been serious negligence on the part of the person who was operating the machine and the companies that were directing and supervising the reforestation work.
In total, five people have been investigated and the corresponding proceedings have been carried out, which will be handed over to the Court of Instruction of Calatayud and the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for the Environment.
The Guardia Civil recommends refraining from activities that may involve the risk of fire, as this could be a serious criminal offence, in addition to the serious consequences that forest fires usually have for people, property and the environment.
The news follows reports of acts of arson declared after the huge fires raged near the roadside in Ourense’s Verin in Spain’s Galicia.
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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