The suspect accused of causing the forest fire that destroyed more than 8,000 hectares of land at the end of August was released from custody on Tuesday after questioning. He has been charged with negligent homicide, causing injury and starting a fire.
The 35 year old gardener who had been working on the estate in Barranco Blanco where it is thought the fire started, was arrested in Alhaurín el Grande, where he apparently was resident, on Monday. He has been ordered to report to the Coín court on the 1st and 15th of every month and has been told not to leave the country.
Identified by the initials J. Z. M., the suspect was allegedly responsible for lighting a bonfire to burn prunings on the day the fire started. He has denied the charges.
Both investigations into the origins of the fire, carried out by the Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service (Seprona) and the Infoca Forest Fire Investigation Brigade, both concluded that the fire had been caused by the negligence of someone burning prunings on a private estate not far from the lane known as Charco del Infierno.
The forest fire, which broke out on the evening on August 30th, affected some 8,225 hectares of land over six municipalities from Coín to Ojén. One man, a 54 year old German, lost his life and five people were injured. Among them was a German couple who were transferred to hospital in Germany with serious burns. Media reports state that the woman died two weeks ago.
Some 6,500 people were evacuated from homes and accommodation and several properties were destroyed. The fire was not declared as totally extinguished until 4th September.