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The Civil Guard investigates two people for a fire in Moratalla and Hellín (18/03/2019)

More than 12,000 m2 of forest land affected |

They are allegedly responsible for the crime of forest fire due to negligence

The origin of the fire was a burning of pruning remains

The Benemérita has counted with the collaboration of environmental agents

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia has developed the operation 'Ribera', an investigation established to clarify a forest fire occurred in the municipalities of Moratalla and Hellín, which has culminated with the investigation of two people as alleged authors of a fire crime forestry by negligence.

At the beginning of the month there was a fire in a mountain area located in the municipalities of Moratalla (Murcia) and Hellín (Albacete).

The fire, cataloged from the first moment like forestry, arrived quickly at the shore of the Segura river, that limits the independent communities of Murcia and Castilla la Mancha.

Due to the burning of the existing vegetation, the fire crossed the river and calcined a total of more than 12,000 square meters of forest mass.

Finally, thanks to the rapid intervention of the means of extinction, the fire was put down.

Members of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Benemérita, in collaboration with environmental agents of the Region of Murcia, began the operation to clarify the facts.

The first steps of the investigation allowed to find out the origin of the fire, throwing negligence or imprudence as the most probable cause.

The analysis of the evidence obtained during the investigation has made it possible to confirm to the Civil Guards that the beginning of the fire, presumably, was due to a burning of fruit tree prunings that were lost to their authors.

Researchers have found up to three burns of accumulations of pruning remains seven meters in diameter by two high approximately, determining the starting point in one of these burns, which found continuity in nearby vegetable fuel and quickly spread to forest land.

The evidences found have led researchers to determine the probable causes of the fire negligence / recklessness by direct use of flame in the bush.

The Civil Guard has identified the two owners of an agricultural company that allegedly made the burning of pruning remains, which have been investigated and they have been instructed proceedings as alleged perpetrators of forest fire crime.

Crime of forest fire

The perpetrators of this type of crime may incur a crime, included in the current Penal Code, which is punishable by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of eighteen to eighteen months.

Both the Regulation on Forest Fires of Decree 3769/1972, of December 23, and the Order of May 24, 2010, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water contemplate the security measures to be adopted when making a fire in forest land, among which stand out:

Form a firewall at the edge of the area to be burned, which in no case will be less than two meters if the adjoining land is dismantled, nor five meters if covered by trees of any age.

Have extinguishing tools and water reserves in quantity not less than 50 liters.

Do not abandon the surveillance of the burned area until the fire is completely extinguished and 12 hours have passed since flames or embers are observed.

The investigated and the diligences instructed have been made available to the Court of Instruction of Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia).

Source: Ministerio del Interior

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