Amid French Wildfires, 2 Teens Accused of Arson

Authorities say the 16-year-olds set one of the recent fires
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2017 8:52 AM CDT
2 Boys Accused of Arson in French Wildfires
A firefighting plane drops fire retardant over a forest near La Londe-les-Maures on the French Riviera, Wednesday.   (Claude Paris)

Two adolescent boys will go before a judge Friday on suspicion of deliberately starting one of the wildfires that devastated parts of southeastern France and Corsica this week, an official said. The two boys, both aged 16, were stopped Wednesday by police who believed arson was behind the blaze in Carro, north of Nice, where 370 acres of vegetation were burnt, says a police official in Aix-en-Provence, per the AP. The boys also face charges of theft and could face a prison sentence of 15 years.

Authorities warned Friday the danger is far from over even though they have tamed most of the blazes that scorched more than 17,300 acres of land, destroyed homes, and forced the evacuation of thousands in the worst fires in France in over a decade. Meanwhile, a 41-year-old man has admitted to starting a wildfire by accident with a metal-cutting device. That fire, in Peynier, some 19 miles northwest of Marseille, burned 178 acres of vegetation before being contained by a team of more than 300 firefighters. The man will go before a judge Friday afternoon and could face up to five years in prison. (More France stories.)

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