In a statement, the police force explained that the fire, which occurred on Sunday, 4 July, "consumed several surrounding vegetations" and that, "despite having endangered the nearby houses, it was extinguished by citizens".

"After police investigations, the man responsible for the fire was arrested and the facts have been referred to the Chaves Judicial Court", he said.

Source of the GNR of Vila Real explained to Lusa that the fire occurred in the parish of Valdanta and that the detainee was subject to term of identity and residence.

The GNR also warned in the statement that "the burning of surplus material is one of the main causes of fires in Portugal" and that "at any time of year it is forbidden to burn cut and piled up bush and any type of surplus material from forestry or agricultural exploitation without asking authorisation or making prior notification", and that "to avoid accidents" safety rules should be followed, always be accompanied and carry your mobile phone.

"The protection of people and property, in the context of rural fires, continues to be one of the GNR's priorities, sustained by preventive action, with the involvement of the entire population and other public and private entities, in safeguarding human life and the security of the heritage of Portugal and the Portuguese," the press release also noted.