A MAN has been arrested accused of setting eight fires in Mijas only to return later to help firefighters extinguish the flames.
The incidents happened between May 28 and July 13. It was at the last blaze that suspicious police arrested the man.
Investigations had found that all the fires had been set deliberately, so the police started a surveillance operation.
On July 13, a new forest fire in Loma del Flamenco burned an area of approximately 6.25 hectares. With a hot dry wind blowing the potential of a much bigger blaze existed. “Luckily, the fire could be controlled thanks to the rapid and effective intervention of the Plan INFOCA,” said the Junta de Andalucia in a report.
On the same day, a man was arrested for allegedly starting the fire. At the time of arrest, the suspect was helping put out the flames.
The report said: “The detainee’s modus operandi consisted of setting fires either by direct application of a heat source or by leaving a lit cigarette on fine, dry grass, causing the fire to start after a slight delay.”
The report added that the alleged arsonist left the scene to return once firefighters were tackling the blaze. He would then assist by helping manhandle hoses.
Investigators found that the same man had appeared at all the fires as a volunteer.
The man has now been reported to the courts for further action. Since his arrest, there have been no more forest fires in Mijas.