It seems many of the fires that have been burning in Spain recently have been caused by arson. Unfortunately this isn’t uncommon in Spain (or the Med as a whole) where over 95% of fires are human-caused (indirectly or directly).
So, how do we account for this in any model of wildfire regimes? Regarding the location of ignition, is arson more likely near or far from other human activity? What is the frequency of arson ignitions in a region linked to? Economic conditions? High levels of land tenure fragmentation (and therefore more borders across which farmers might conflict)?
As always there’s much work to do on these questions. In large part, accurate assessment of arson ignitions is likely to be dependent upon psychological understanding as much as anything else. For me, I’ll concentrate on the potential influence of increased tourism in rural areas and the consequent ‘accidental’ ignitions.
Update: More comments on this blog post have been posted here