ONE in seven forest fires have been started intentionally so far this year, new figures show.

The Guardia Civil has investigated 387 fires across Spain, many of which caused severe damage. Six people have been arrested in connection.

Statistics show that 53 fires were caused by negligent behaviour which contributed to 1,359 people being evacuated from their homes.

The sheer damage from these fires has led to 516 hours being clocked between the state troopers and the Junta’s own firefighters.

General secretary Antonio Sanz said that a greater degree of communication was required between official bodies to combat the fires more efficiently.

“We have to improve the coordination of all administrations and personnel to prevent these fires from taking hold so quickly,” Sanz said.

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