Disasters & Accidents

Wildfires blight southern Italy as heatwave digs in for weekend

Rome, Aug 13 (EFE).- Unrelenting and deadly wildfires have engulfed thousands of hectares of land on the Italian island of Sicily and southern regions of the mainland as a heat dome settles over the region.

Fires in Calabria, the ‘toe’ of Italy, have scorched at least 11,000 hectares of land in the ??Aspromonte mountains in recent days, prompting the head of Italy’s civil protection agency, Fabrizio Curcio, to visit the region to analyse the situation.

Three French water-dropping aircraft are due to arrive in the region from Greece, where they were sent to tackle wildfires earlier this week, and two other planes are expected from Algeria, which is also dealing with conflagrations.

The fires have killed four people in Calabria and laid waste to hundreds of hectares of olive groves and arable land.

Nine new fires emerged overnight in Sicily, one of the worst hit regions and where one fatality was recorded, involving a man killed by a tractor as he tried to douse flames.

Soaring temperatures of upto over 40C (104F) are forecast for the weekend, further complicating efforts to put out the fires. EFE


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