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Arsonist, 13, allegedly sets fire to forestland with father

One of the youngest people identified by police for arson this summer has been a 13-year-old boy.

According to reports, he was not arrested because as a minor, he is too young to face criminal charges. But he will be placed under a “educational watch” order and may end up being placed in an institution, writes Correio da Manhã.

Meantime, his 43-year-old father – described as helping the boy in at least one of the fires – has been arrested and yesterday appeared in court.

He was charged with arson and released pending trial, said the paper, on the understanding that he regularly reports to police in his home borough of Amarante.

The fire which the man and his young son are alleged to have started destroyed “a relevant area of forestland, including pine trees, oaks and eucalyptus, putting various homes at risk”.

The son is believed to have been behind at least nine other blazes in the district, all of them in the borough of Amarante, the paper adds.

Meantime, police continue to round up suspects as fires continue to dog civil protection services in the north and centre of the country.

Yesterday (Thursday) a 19-year-old was arrested, believed to have started various fires with a lighter, while PSP agents also detained a 43-year-old, believed to have caused a number of blazes in the last few weeks.

The man’s latest alleged offence involved the burning of 7500 metres of scrubland near a school in Santarém.

He was due to appear in court today (Friday), bringing the number of people so far detained for fire-raising to 56, writes CM.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com