TEN people in the Balearic Islands have been arrested by the police for starting one of the 58 forest fires that have so far been registered this year. Eleven reports were made which helped identify those people responsible for starting a forest fire, according to information supplied by The Nature Protection Service (Seprona), which is a service offered by the Guardia Civil. The root cause for these 58 fires is, for a large part, down to negligence. At least 21 fires were started because they were not attended properly, confirmed Seprona. The Guardia Civil believe that a further five were started by accident, and that one fire was started intentionally.
Throughout Spain, many other people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil for causing a damaging forest fire.
More people were held by the Guardia Civil in Andalucia than in any other region for this illegal crime. In total 89 have been arrested in this area.
In Galicia a further 80 people have been arrested for allegedly causing a forest fire.
These two regions alone make up more than half of the national total for forest fire arrests.
The national arrest figure for this matter currently stands at 277 (from January to July 2005).
Castilla y Leon follows these regions with 26 people held by Guardia Civil, then Valencia with 21 arrests.
On the other hand, no arrests were made in La Rioja, Navarra or Asturias, and in other regions the numbers are very insignificant, Aragon (1 person arrested) and Cantabria (2). With regards to the number of fires started so far this year in Spain, Andalucia registered 764 fires and 914 reports, followed by Castilla y Leon with 551 fires and 512 reports. A total of 15 people have died as the result of the forest fires in Spain between January and July.
Eleven of these deaths took place in the massive disaster which hit Guadalajara in July and took the lives of forest fire experts.
Two further deaths were recorded in Castilla y Leon, and another two in Galicia.
According to the facts by Seprona, out of the total 3'415 fires that have happened in this period, they have managed to find out the cause for only 1'664 fires, which were mainly due to negligence.

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