AJACCIO, Corsica – Firefighters said yesterday they had brought under control blazes which have ravaged at least 9,000 hectares (22,500 acres) of woodland over the past week on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. With smoke rising from the ashes of forests and bush across the holiday island, some 1,000 firefighters kept watch over areas where winds risked re-igniting the fires. Tanker planes prepared to make their final flights to douse any lingering flames. Firefighters said almost 2,500 hectares (6,100 acres) were destroyed in the scenic forest of Restonica, near the central town of Corte, while 4,800 hectares (11,900 acres) went up in smoke in the area of Vivario and Ghisoni. Fires swept across 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) around the island’s capital Ajaccio. They said many of the blazes started simultaneously, a sign that arsonists were to blame.
(Information Source: Reuters News Service/Planet Ark, 30 August 2000)