The Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem has extended the detention of a 36-year-old man suspected of igniting the largest wildfire in the history of the Czech Republic at České Švýcarsko National Park last year. However, this decision is not final and is subject to complaints. The accused chose to remain silent during the detention hearing, and his attorney contended the allegations of starting the park fire made by the investigators.
The accused has been in detention since May, with the public prosecutor's office submitting the indictment on charges of endangering the public and damaging property three weeks prior to this court verdict. The court extended the detention citing potential risk of further criminal activity and evasion of criminal proceedings. If proven guilty, the accused could face up to 15 years in prison for setting fires in April this year, which included a lookout tower and hunting seats in the Děčín region.
The Historic Fire
The fire near Hřensko, which broke out on the night of July 24 last year, was particularly challenging to extinguish due to factors like severe drought, high temperatures, strong winds, and inaccessible terrain. It managed to spread over approximately 1000 hectares and took almost three weeks to be brought under control.
Series of Fires
In April, the same man was accused of starting several more fires in the Děčín region within a week, resulting in a burnt recreational cabin and a damaged Vlčí hora lookout tower. He is also implicated in setting fire to three hunting seats and two feeding stations, leading to damages estimated at 350 million Czech koruna.