The President of Madeira, in recent declarations to the press, has insinuated that firemen were responsible for the fires that have burnt acres of porperty and destroyed an estimated fifteen houses.
Jardim had been calling on people to denounce the criminals who started fires and said that it was a strange coincidence that the fires started soon after he had declared Madeira had too many firemen. He said the fires were set almost as if to prove the opposite and insinuated that firemen had a hand in starting the fires.
The National Firemen's Union is taking Jardim to Court for libel.
One of the smaller fires, in Sta Cruz, apparently started from a controlled burning overseen by the Sta. Cruz Mayor, without the presence of the fire brigade. The facts were hushed up.
The city councillor, for the Together for the People Movement, has called for the Mayor's resignation. The Mayor went on holiday to Porto Santo, while the fires raged.