Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Wildfires continue to consume forest, property across Italy


(ANSA) - Rome, July 18 - Wildfires were burning over many
parts of Italy Wednesday amid extremely hot, dry weather.
From the area around Viterbo in Lazio, to Liguria, Sardinia
and Pollino national park in southern Italy, fires were
scorching thousands of hectares of forest land, and anything in
their path.
In the province of Viterbo, flames consumed approximately
80 hectares of forest, including oak, beech and chestnut trees,
in the nature reserve of Lake Vico.
Firefighters on the ground, supported by aircraft dropping
water, fought the blaze which created a smoke haze visible for
kilometres around.
Meanwhile, firefighters continued to fight a huge blaze
sweeping across the Pollino national park which straddles the
borders of Calabria and Basilicata in southern Italy.
The blaze is believed to have been started deliberately
early Monday afternoon and by Wednesday, the flames had already
destroyed about 500 hectares of bush.
Arsonists are often blamed in forest fires in Italy, and
suspicion usually focuses on farmers seeking to clear space for
agricultural purposes or land developers hoping to win permits
for new constructions.
More fires are raging across greater areas of Italy this
year as rain refuses to fall across many of the country's most
arid zones.
The number of fires since the beginning of the year is up
by 76% on 2011 and the area burnt has increased by 57%, said the
Italian State Forest Police.
Dry conditions have turned vast areas into kindling, with
rainfall down by 83% overall in Italy, and down by 99% in
various parts of the southern and central Italy, as well as
Sicily and Sardinia, farmers association Coldiretti said.

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