Francisco José Santana died fighting the blaze in the Canary Islands, which has seen a 27-year-old German arrested on suspicion of starting the fire
A park ranger died while fighting a blaze in the Canary Islands allegedly started by a German man who set fire to toilet paper after defecating in the woods, authorities have said.
Seven hundred people have been evacuated from a wooded, mountainous area in La Palma, an island in the Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa.
Francisco José Santana died while working to put out the flames, according to Spain’s UGT union, of which the 54-year-old was a member. “He leaves a wife and five children,” a spokesperson added.
A police spokesman said that a 27-year-old German man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, suspected of having caused the fire. The man, whose identity has not been revealed, “told officers he accidentally provoked the blaze when he defecated … and set fire to the toilet paper he used for that,” police added.
The man has been accused of causing a forest fire through negligence and was expected to be questioned by a judge on Thursday, it said.
Two hundred people are fighting the blaze, as are helicopters and planes, a spokeswoman for the Canary Islands’ emergency services said. Weather conditions are not expected to make their task any easier, as high temperatures and strong winds fan the flames, she added.
“The fire has not come under control yet,” Fernando Clavijo, regional president of the Canaries, told reporters. “The situation may get more complicated throughout the night,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy.”
Spain’s acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, sent his condolences to the park ranger’s family.
Original source: The Guardian