a man taken into custody
A man was taken into police custody on Monday afternoon as part of the investigation into the Landiras fire (Gironde), which has burned 10,500 hectares of forest since Tuesday.
The ongoing investigation, « which is continuing with numerous expert reports and hearings of witnesses », was opened for « destruction by fire of wood, forest, moor, maquis or plantation of others which could cause damage to people », said the same source.
The prosecution announced on Friday favoring the “criminal thesis” to explain the outbreak of this fire, one of the two that have been raging since July 12 in Gironde with that of La Teste-de-Buch (5,000 hectares burned).
Nearly 32,000 people evacuated
In Landiras, « the criminal identification technicians were able to make findings which accredit a deliberately malicious act », writes the prosecution in its press release. The investigators made a connection between this incident and other fire outbreaks observed in the same area on the same day, at different times. However, “clues remain to be exploited in order to eliminate or retain the thesis of the same author”, further explains the prosecution.
Regarding the fire in La Teste, near Arcachon, local authorities explained last week that it was due to a broken down van that caught fire on a forest road. A version confirmed Monday by the prosecution.
This investigation is open for “involuntary destruction by fire of wood, forest, moor, maquis or plantation of others due to the breach of an obligation of safety or prudence”.
These two disasters, which caused no casualties and little material damage (4 houses and a restaurant burnt down), ravaged 15,000 hectares of forest and forced 32,000 people, residents and vacationers, to leave their place of residence.