Forest Fires in Italy: 6 July 2000

Forest Fires in Italy

6 July 2000

A big forest fire was yesterday raging near the Italian seaside resort of Ostia outside of Rome. Fire fighters and volunteers were fighting the forest fire, one of 18, that flared across Italy as temperatures soared. The civil protection ministry said strong scirocco winds of up to 70 kmh (45 mph) were making it difficult for two Canadair planes to take water from the sea to extinguish the flames in the forest near Ostia. They had to take water from a lake some 30 km (20 miles) away instead, but the wind also made it difficult for the planes to spray 6,000 litres of water over the incident region. Two helicopters were also at the scene.

Hot, dry winds blowing across the southern Gargano region fanned flames that consumed hundreds of acres of forest despite repeated passes by firefighting planes dumping water. On Monday temperatures about 45 -50°C were reported on the island of Sardinia. Italian meteorologists said they expect the torrid temperatures to continue at least through Saturday.

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