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More patrols and drones to prevent arson

July 6, 2018 at 4:52pm
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Authorities on Friday decided on a series of additional measures to prevent malicious fires at state forests including stepping up patrols and using drones to monitor sensitive areas.

The steps were agreed at a meeting held at the Forestry Department in the wake of a devastating fire in the Pyrgos Tyllirias area last month which authorities believe was started deliberately.

Friday’s meeting was attended by officials from the Forestry Department, the fire service, police, civil defence, the National Guard, the Game Service and representatives of volunteer groups.

The meeting decided on 24 hour foot patrols by the Forestry Department, joint motorised patrols by the Forestry Department and Police, as well as patrols from police, the Game Service, Civil Defence and volunteers.

It was also agreed that sensitive areas will be monitored with new technology such as drones while the National Guard — through its sentry posts — would notify authorities of any suspicious movement

Under the current law, anyone who deliberately starts a forest fire faces a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in jail.

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Tougher penalties eyed for arson in bid to protect forests