The current mix of heat, drought and strong winds are causing numerous forest fires in Italy. Around 40 degrees are also expected on Saturday.
Update from July 30th, 8:58 p.m .: Catania Airport announced on Friday evening that flight operations would be temporarily suspended. According to the Ansa news agency, houses have been evacuated in the city. Fires have been blazing for days, especially in southern Italy and on the large islands.
Update from July 30th, 7:16 pm: The fight against the flames goes on for the Italian fire brigade. The emergency services had to move to Sicily 140 times by late afternoon, the Sicilian fire brigade reported on Twitter. Nationwide there were around 370 forest fire operations. The situation in Lazio, Apulia and Campania is also critical. This also affects the capital Rome.
A helicopter photo of the emergency services shows the extent of the fires that had spread to the east of the popular holiday island. Thick billows of smoke drift over the houses in the city of Catania, near the Etna volcano. The situation could continue on Saturday. The civil protection authority in Sicily continues to predict the highest fire risk level for eastern and northern Sicily. The temperatures should therefore be slightly below 40 degrees Celsius again.
Forest fires in Italy: Highest fire risk level for popular holiday island – fire brigade in constant use
Initial report: Palermo – The rescue workers in Italy are currently fighting hundreds of forest fires. The south of the country is particularly hard hit by the fires: the Calabria region, as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. On Wednesday, the fire brigade said that they were in action across the country in a total of 240 bush fires. Drought, heat and sometimes strong winds in the past few days favored the spread of the flames.
On the Italian island of Sicily, the fire brigade fought the threatening forest fires for hours on Friday night. The extinguishing work had continued south of Palermo around the villages of Altofonte and Piana degli Albanesi. The fire brigade announced on Friday morning (July 30th). The flames continue to be driven by the wind. Two fire-fighting planes are in use.
Numerous fires on hills could be seen on a video from the fire brigade. Thick smoke and billows of smoke wafted over the region. Dozens of operations in connection with forest fires had already been reported the day before.
#Incendiboschivi #Palermo, sono proseguite per tutta la notte le operazioni di spegnimento tra Piana degli Albanesi e Altofonte: #vigilidelfuoco al lavoro per contrastare le fiamme alimentate dal forte vento. Dall’alba in azione due #canadair [#30luglio 9:00] pic.twitter.com/ChD41l3lga
– Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) July 30, 2021
Forest fires in Sicily: Highest fire risk level predicted for Friday
For Friday, the civil protection authority in Sicily predicted the highest fire risk level for almost all provinces of the island. Accordingly, there is a high risk of fire in these areas. Temperatures in Sicily are currently well over 30 degrees Celsius. In addition to the heat, the fires are favored by the prevailing drought there.
In the coming week, however, the heat is expected to increase even further. According to experts, a heat wave with temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius is rolling towards the Mediterranean. Violent forest fires are also raging in Turkey. The region around Antalya, which is popular with holidaymakers, is particularly affected. The fires have already claimed several lives and the first hotels have been evacuated. (ph / dpa)
List of rubric lists: © Italian Firefighters