Italian firefighters battle wildfires on island of Sardinia

Italian firefighters battle wildfires on island of Sardinia

Hundreds of residents evacuated from affected region as blazes ravage island due to strong winds

By Giada Zampano

ROME (AA) – Italian firefighters crews were at work early on Monday battling wildfires ravaging the island of Sardinia, after more than 40 fires broke out in the region amid hot, dry, and windy conditions, authorities said.

The worst-hit part of the island – the second-largest in the Mediterranean – is eastern Sardinia, with the largest fire burning in Posada, in the Nuoro province, where local authorities ordered the evacuation of around 600 people. Nearby roads were also closed between the towns of Siniscola and Olbia.

Local administrators warned that the wildfires – which erupted over the past few days due to particularly strong winds – may cause additional transport disruptions in the affected areas. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could exacerbate traffic delays and congestion in the region, they added.

Christian Solinas, the president of the Sardinia region, said he urged civil defense services to strengthen the firefighting air fleet and send an early warning on the activation of the European Civil Defense Mechanism. Seven airplanes were engaged in battling the blazes, dropping seawater on the flames.

Authorities didn’t rule out the possibility some of the fires may have been caused by arson.

Italy’s southern regions, especially Sicily, were hit hard by wildfires last month amid a record heatwave, brought from Africa by the anti-cyclone Charon, which claimed victims and caused widespread damages across the country.

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