PYROMANIACS, arsonists, are becoming the biggest threat to Majorca's countryside with an ever increasing number of forest fires started deliberately, including yesterday's. One of the areas most at threat is Na Burguesa in Calvia and the local council has decided to take offensive action and start catching the pyromaniacs before they strike. Police suspect that at least ten of this year's forest fires in Na Burgesa, Genova and Bonanova, were the work of arsonists and yesterday the Balearic government's director general for Emergency services, Joan Pol, said that sufficient evidence has been gathered to indicate that there is at least one pyromaniac in the area and a group of teenage arsonists. “Hence we have gone on the offensive and we are going to track down these people before they can cause any more damage.” Last Thursday crisis talks were held at the Calvia Town Hall to finalise the anti-arsonist strategy.
Various emergency services, the forestry protection service and police forces are involved in the war against pyromaniacs and on Friday routine patrols of Na Burguesa, Genova and Bonanova were launched. Joan Pol has revealed that the police do have information leading to the identity of a number of arsonists “and when we do finally arrest them we're going to throw the book at them,” he added. If found guilty, they can expect to be sent to jail.
But while the hunt is on for the pyromaniacs, the forest protection services, and the Guardia Civil are on a heightened state of alert and ready to respond to a forest fire 24-hours a day. “We're on maximum alert and however large the fire, as soon as the alarm is raised, we are responding immediately with maximum resources on the ground and in the air, we're not taking any chances this summer, Pol said. Conditions in the woods and bush land are very dry and brittle and fires can spread extremely quickly.
The latest fire was spotted yesterday afternoon in Establiments.
It was the quick response from the emergency services which reduced the damage to a minimum, just 300 square metres of forest in Sa Garrigueta was destroyed by the flames.


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