Italy is experiencing a tragic week of fires . In just 48 hours, the Sicilian region has suffered more than 160 fires on its territory ; about 124 originated in forest areas and 38 more in urban areas. At least 150 people have had to be evacuated, while 5,500 firefighters and rural agents worked in the extinction work. The largest outbreak detected to date has calcined more than 800 hectares of Mediterranean forest and vegetation in just one day.
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has declared the state of national mobilization of the civil protection system to send staff and volunteers to work on extinguishing the fire in Sicily.
As reported by the Italian Government this Sunday, Draghi activated this mobilization during the afternoon of Saturday after the President of Sicily, Nello Musumeci, requested an emergency intervention. At the moment, it is estimated that there are a dozen outbreaks still active in forest areas.
“The Department (of Civil Protection) is working to coordinate the dispatch of volunteers, national organizations and regional mobile columns , who will work in support of firefighting activities. This morning an update meeting took place during which the departure to Sicily, this Sunday, teams from Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano “, announced in the official statement.
Ten million euros in property damage
The governor of the Sicily region, Musumeci, has announced an extraordinary meeting for tomorrow , August 2, to take stock of the situation and coordinate additional actions derived from the fire emergency. The preliminary count of material damage shows that, beyond the burned vegetation, the fires have also affected the beaches and establishments such as bars and restaurants in the area.
THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS
Forest fires: the high price of forest abandonment
“The damage count is for now a rough estimate, but among the forests that have been destroyed, the costs of the interventions and the rehabilitation necessary to recover the area, the figure will far exceed ten million euros, ” says the newspaper Italian ‘ La Repubblica ‘ in his chronicle on the fires in Sicily. The newspaper points out that, at the moment, the main avenue of investigation suggests that a large part of these fires have been intentional.