A farmer has been arrested by the Guardia Civil for committing arson due to gross negligence after throwing away used barbecue charcoal embers.

The man ended up starting a forest fire that has burned for two days in the Petrer area of Alicante Province.

He reported the incident on Wednesday and resources had to be directed from the ongoing Vall d’Ebo fire some 100 kilometres away.

Devastated Area

The man, 57, used the barbecue on his farm.

A few days later, he threw the remains of its charcoal embers away, believing they had been fully extinguished.

Due to the dryness of the scrub land and the weather situation, the remains were reactivated and spread rapidly.

The farmer tried to stop the advancing flames by pouring water on them with a hose, but had to call emergency services as the blaze took hold.

As of Friday lunchtime, the fire was still active, though under control.

It has destroyed around 70 hectares of vegetation in the Sierra del Maigmo and Sierra del Cid protected landscape areas.


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