A year-long probe to catch an arsonist operating in the Alcalali area of the Marina Alta has culminated in the arrest of an 80-year-old man.

The Spanish octogenerian started the blazes during a series of morning walks.

The Guardia Civil said the man had been charged with four specific crimes of arson affecting forest areas.

He also faces four counts of criminal damage caused by several other fires he started.

Four blazes were ignited close to the river Gorgos in a ‘protected area’ classified as a ‘Site of Community Interest’.

It is one of 1,500 designated zones in Spain aimed to preserve species and habitats.

Guardia officers worked with fire investigators to establish the blazes were started intentionally.

That included painstakingly working out a time frame as to when the arsonist was striking.

Statements from walkers and residents were taken over months to build up a picture as to who the main suspect could be.

The inquiries ended up with the octogenerian’s arrest.

No information has been given as to what motivated the activities of the elderly arsonist.

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