Arson is suspected in Dordogne after four wildfires were found to have started at very similar times across a single area yesterday (August 24).
The fires in the commune de Montpon-Ménestérol destroyed at least 20 hectares of forest before firefighters were able to get control of the blaze.
A total of 110 firefighters, and several helicopters and plane water bombers attended the scene, and several residents were required to leave their homes. The fire was declared at around 12:30 and was under control by 17:00.
Four new fires were reported on the same day in an area across one kilometre square, which led firefighters to suspect arson.
Impressionnants feux sur le secteur de Montpon ce midi. Un bon courage aux pompiers déployés. Probablement l'œuvre du pyromane de la Double. pic.twitter.com/8otAKvE1lQ— Géraldine Baylet (@BayletGeraldine) August 24, 2022
An investigator told Sud Ouest: "Such a combination of cases in the same place owes nothing to chance. ‘Fire jumps’ have been excluded, so we know that someone is behind all this.”
It is not the first time that arson has been suspected after a fire in Dordogne this month. Between August 7 and 8, a series of fires in the same areas of La Roche-Chalais and Parcoul-Chenaud destroyed more than 90 hectares, and caused the gendarmerie to launch an investigation into arson.
Arson has also been widely suspected in a series of fires across France in recent weeks and months, including the major Landiras blaze in Gironde, which destroyed more than 20,000 hectares.