Police have reported that fifteen firefighters are suspected of purposely starting fires in Sicily so they would have more work.
The men being investigated are auxiliary firefighters who received 10 euro (£9) an hour from the Italian government to help put out the flames.
Fire department personnel informed authorities after they noticed one team of auxiliaries was called in far more regularly than others during summer 2013 and 2014.
The head of a firefighting squad has been put under house arrest and others are being questioned by detectives.
Reportedly, some of the firefighters are also accused of calling in false alarms.
Incidents of arson are a recurrent problem on the southern Italian island.
This summer, several deliberately-started fires have traveled across Sicily and large parts of southern and central Italy.
The fires have been even more destructive as the country is currently experiencing a drought.
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.