About 1,000 residents and vacationers have been evacuated from areas of western Sardinia that had been ravaged by wildfires over the weekend, with forests, pastures and villages on the Italian island engulfed in flames.
“It’s a catastrophe with out precedent,” mentioned the area’s governor, Christian Solinas, invoking a state of emergency on Sunday.
No deaths or accidents have been reported, the Italian authorities mentioned. However the fires had been nonetheless raging on Monday, when 4 firefighting planes from France and Greece joined the Italian firefighters’ air fleet to assist management the flames.
Since early Saturday, when the wildfires began close to a forest by the village of Bonacardo, not less than 50,000 acres of land have gone up in flames. Lots of of sheep, goats, cows and pigs died after being trapped in barns at farms within the fires’ path, regardless of emergency staff’ efforts to save lots of them.
The reason for the fires is just not but clear.
Wildfires are widespread in Sardinia’s dry Mediterranean atmosphere in the summertime, particularly as scorching southwestern winds blow on days when temperatures attain 104 levels Fahrenheit, as has been the case up to now few days.
“These are extraordinary fires for the magnitude, but additionally odd for the season and the velocity, sadly,” mentioned Gianfilippo Micillo, the pinnacle of the Italian firefighters’ wildfires coordination division. “These fires create their very own microclimate and propagate very quick.”
Mr. Micillo mentioned that Italy was experiencing a rise in wildfires this yr, as occurs each 4 or 5 years, when low bushes and scrub develop sufficient in abandoned areas to turn out to be gasoline for a spark ignited by chance, or deliberately, by human exercise.
Italy has registered virtually 13,000 extra wildfires than final yr, principally within the southern areas of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, firefighters mentioned.
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