Some of the cats in Sicily have a pretty terrible job - they have had gasoline soaked rags tied to them before being set on fire and chased toward the woods. The people doing it are linked to the Mafia and they are causing absolutely massive fires, according to the National Park officials.
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Dozens and dozens of forest fires broke out on Thursday, and they all seem to be the work of these cats. Firefighters estimate that they fought at least 30 fires in the woodland and national parks. Some schools and homes were evacuated as water and power lines were cut. Several children had to be transported to the hospital for treatment.
They were tipped off that this was some kind of sinister plan because all of the fires were started around the same time. It was a smart plan, as the fires were exacerbated by the temperatures of up to 40C while there was a strong wind that helped to spread the fires.
Sicilian police have pointed their fingers are various groups who may have had a motive for starting the fires, including the mafia, annoyed former employees of the parks, and even property developers.
“We don’t yet have the proof but we suspect that there are criminal interests behind these fires,” said Rosario Crocetta, the governor of Sicily. “It horrifies me that criminals in Sicily would set fire to national parks and centuries-old woodland, but there are speculative interests behind the fires.”
The mafia had recent attempts to assassinate the director of the Nebrodi national park, Giuseppe Antoci, after he tried to stop the efforts of organized criminals who made millions of dollars defrauding funds for farmers, according to the Daily Mail.
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Mr. Antoci believes that the fires were deliberate. He said: “It is not possible that the whole of Sicily can go up in flames at the same time simply by chance. One of the mob’s arson techniques is to tie a petrol-soaked rag to the tail of a cat and set fire to it."