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MAP: Where are wildfires raging in Italy?

Hundreds of people have been evacuated as extreme temperatures fuel wildfires across Italy. Here’s where the blazes are currently causing the most damage.

MAP: Where are wildfires raging in Italy?
Firefighters are working to put out wildfires across southern Italy and in parts of the north on Monday. Photo by Federico SCOPPA / AFP

Wildfires have caused devastation in many parts of Europe this summer, and Italy is no exception.

READ ALSO: Italian wildfires ‘three times worse’ than average as heatwave continues

The Italian fire brigade was called out to almost 33,000 forest or brush fires between June 15th and July 21st, with blazes reported everywhere from Puglia to Trentino-Alto Adige and Abruzzo to Sicily.

As exceptionally hot and dry conditions persist into August, yet more fires broke out over the weekend causing devastation up and down the country.

Here’s a look at the areas worst affected at the moment.

All active fires in Italy on Monday, August 8th. Map: European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

Savona, Liguria (North-west)

Some 120 people were evacuated on Monday as a wildfire raged near Savona amid sweltering midsummer heat.

The fire burned through woodland in the area of Arnasco and Villanova d’Albenga over the weekend before intensifying.

The situation became critical overnight on Sunday, with several homes catching fire in Villanova d’Albenga, reported news agency Ansa.

More homes were at risk on Monday, firefighters said, particularly in the Borgo Verde and Coasco neighborhoods.

Helicopters and several Canadair planes were assisting fire crews on the ground on Monday.

Sicily (South-west)

“Half the island is burning,” read headlines in local Sicilian media on Monday, as firefighters were reportedly struggling to attend all the blazes reported across the island.

Sicily has been hit by the largest number of fires overall this summer, according to the national fire brigade.

In the provinces of Palermo, Ragusa, Messina, and beyond “a succession of fires are destroying hectares of woods and vegetation”, reports local newspaper La Sicilia, which added that many fires were believed to have been started deliberately.

READ ALSO: Italy is burning – but many wildfires could be prevented

A major fire on Monte Giancaldo, a mountain overlooking the city of Palermo, burned throughout Sunday night and into Monday, but fortunately didn’t reach residential areas.

No deaths or major incidents were reported, but the risk of fire damage to homes and land is ever-present on the island, where temperatures remain among the hottest in Italy.

Puglia (South-east)

Another part of Italy badly affected by wildfires this summer, like every year; in Puglia, firefighters were battling more than a dozen blazes on Monday.

These included two fires that burned 50 hectares of woodland in the Foggia area, and a blaze stretching for more than a kilometre in scrubland near the coast between Tricase Porto and Marina di Andrano, an area popular with holidaymakers.

Several houses in the area were evacuated on Sunday, while the Tricase-Andrano road was closed to traffic as fire crews battled the flames with assistance from Canadair planes.

As is the case in Italy every year, the most fires were reported in the hotter, drier southern regions.

READ ALSO: Will summer 2022 be Italy’s hottest ever?

Sicily has recorded the highest number of wildfires this summer, with firefighters called out 6,534 times so far according to fire brigade statistics.

Other regions worst affected were Puglia (5,134), Lazio (4,799), Calabria (3,195), Campania (2,730) and Tuscany (1,529

While prolonged hot and dry conditions make wildfires more likely – and more severe – the vast majority of such blazes in Italy are believed to be caused by human actions, and six in ten are started deliberately according to Coldiretti, Italy’s national farmers’ union.

Italy has registered at least three wildfires a day since the start of July, data from EFFIS shows.

Member comments

  1. Massarosa is west of Lucca – not east. It’s the commune between Lucca and Viareggio. At daylight today (21st) the Canadairs are still active on the fires above Massarosa

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CLIMATE CRISIS

MAP: The parts of Italy most at risk from floods and extreme weather

After flooding devastated parts of central Italy on Friday, data has revealed the areas most at risk as such 'extreme weather events' become more frequent.

MAP: The parts of Italy most at risk from floods and extreme weather

After severe storms and flash floods in the central Marche region last week left 11 dead, with two still missing, environmental organisation Legambiente said climate interventions “can no longer be put off”.

“The climate crisis is no joke,” the group said in a press release published on Saturday. “The flooding that hit Le Marche is yet another alarm bell that the planet is sending us.”

IN PHOTOS: Devastation after deadly flash floods hit central Italy

Italy was hit by a total 64 floods between January and September 2022, according to the latest data from Legambiente’s Città Clima (‘Climate City’) Observatory, with some areas worse affected than others.

As the majority of Italy’s floods occur in the autumn and winter, it’s feared that the total figure for 2022 will be higher than for 2021.

Disasters like the one that hit Marche are difficult to predict, but data from the most recent Città Clima Observatory’s report, published in November of last year, shows which parts of the peninsula have suffered the greatest number of extreme weather events since 2010, giving an idea of the areas most at risk.

Data showed these were mainly large cities such as Rome, Bari, Milan, Genoa and Palermo, and coastal areas, particularly the coasts of Romagna, northern Marche, and eastern Sicily.

The parts of Italy that have experienced the most extreme weather events since 2010. Source: Città Clima

Sicily has been the worst-hit region in recent months, battered by eight floods so far this year and 14 in 2021, the Città Clima interactive map shows. Palermo, Catania and Syracuse have each experienced multiple floods in the past couple of years.

Lazio has also been hard hit, experiencing six flooding events so far in 2022 and ten in 2021, the majority of which occurred in Rome.

READ ALSO

Capital city Rome experienced by far the highest number of extreme weather events: 56 in total, of which 13 involved such heavy rainfall it caused damage to infrastructure and 21 necessitated a partial closure of metro lines.

Bari, the capital of Puglia, was the next worst hit, with a total of 41 events, 20 of which were floods and 18 of which took the form of tornados or whirlwinds that caused damage to the city.

Milan experienced 30 events, of which 20 were a result of river flooding.

The metropolitan area of Naples experienced 31 events, 18 of which occurred in Naples itself, while Genoa was hit by 21 events variously consisting of flooding, torrential rainfall and whirlwinds, and Palermo experienced 15.

A total of 132 extreme weather events were recorded in Italy between January and July 2022 – more than the annual average for the last decade, Legambiente reported in its press release.

A flooded field in Sassoferrato, Ancona province, after severe storms on Friday. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

There have been a total of 510 floods in Italy from 2010 to September 2022, 88 of which happened in 2021, according to the organisation’s statistics.

The association urged the government to take urgent action, arguing that Italy is currently the only major European country that lacks climate adaptation plan, which it says has been on hold since 2018.

“There is no more time to waste,” said Legambiente president Stefano Ciafani.

“If the plan is not approved in a very short timeframe, we risk seeing disastrous social, environmental and economic impacts over the next few years.”

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