Palma.—But, it has not just been the fire fighters and emergency service which have been pushed to the very limits this year, so too have the Guardia Civil which is still investigating 25 of this summer's forest fires.

Yesterday, the Balearic Minister for Agriculture, the Environment and Planning, Biel Company, said that he suspects nearly as many as 50 percent of this year's 95 fires in Majorca were started intentionally.

Company explained that of those wildfires already investigated, 40 percent were started on purpose and that by the time the Guardia Civil have closed the outstanding 25 investigations, he suspects that as many as 50 percent of this summer's fires were intentional.

To date, three people have been arrested on the suspicion of arson but the Guardia Civil are determined to track down as many suspects as possible with the Balearic government promising to throw the book at any one convicted of deliberately starting a forest fire.

Company said that this year's forest fire campaign was extremely demanding for the those involved in fighting the blazes.
At time, the military's emergency brigade was needed to intervene here in Majorca with fire fighters battling blazes on numerous fronts.
The Minister said that July and August were the toughest months and that the continual heat waves throughout August and the hot winds from North Africa made conditions even more complicated. Up until two days ago, 129 had broken out this summer across the Balearics with nearly 320 hectares and wood and scrub land destroyed. Fortunately no lives were lost.