Volunteer firefighter arrested for starting 31 blazes in France Featured

A volunteer firefighter has been charged with starting 31 fires in southwestern France, local media reported on Monday.

The 19-year-old man was arrested on Aug. 26 and confessed before a judge on Sunday, according to French broadcaster TF1.

He is believed to have intentionally set fires in Medoc in France’s Gironde region between July 29 and Aug. 21.

Investigations into the origin of blazes in five areas of Medoc pointed to “a voluntary and criminal nature,” the report said.

The accused could face a jail term of up to 15 years, it added.

More than 28,000 hectares (over 69,000 acres) of forest land and vegetation were destroyed by wildfires in Gironde between July and August.

Hundreds of residents and tourists had to be evacuated from various places as firefighters struggled for several days to douse the blazes.