THE police unit assigned to the Junta de Andalucia has reported a beekeeper for unintentionally triggering the wildfire which ripped through some 200 hectares of the Sierra Cabrera mountains in the Mojacar-Turre area in June, according to Spanish press.
The reports say a police investigation into the cause of the blaze in collaboration with environment officers from the BIIF Forest Fire Investigation Brigade determined that the point of origin was the remains of a demolished rural property where there had been beehives. Also, that they found signs with the apiary code next to the scorched hives.
Initial data reportedly suggested the fire was set off by the incorrect handling of the hives, but that the BIIF technical report pointed to negligence in the apiary activities, and that the most likely cause was a spark from a bee smoker.
In addition, the reports maintain officers found other apiaries in the same area with the same codes as on the burnt signs and noted that new hives had recently been set up. Missing however was the obligatory two-metre wide firebreak strip for using bee smokers on hives.
The reports go on to say that the police identified the beekeeper and that he told them he had been working on hives near to where the wildfire started on the morning of the blaze. Also that when the officers took a look at his bee smokers, they found they lacked the system to prevent sparks.
A further claim is that there was a fire in 2014 only about 100 metres from where last month’s blaze started, on an apiary owned by the individual under investigation, and finally that he has been charged.