Fires continue in Sardinia - arsonists suspected

Sat, 07/25/2009 - 04:43

Firefighters are still battling with fires in Sardinia, and now Sicily, with more than 1500 firefighters and ten water planes involved. Arsonists are suspected to be behind most fires.

Several Italian news agencies are reporting that the cause of the fires seems to be arson - the Forest Department (responsible for the initial investigation) is saying that "people have had enough and are now collaborating with the police".

Unfortunately, the firefighters work has been made more difficult because arsonists started new fires last night starting new fires in Bonorva and close to a nature reserve in Nuoro.

The worst damages where in Pozzomaggiore and Semestene, where the flames are destroying fields of oak trees. The majority of damages, however, has been to areas used for grazing - something that is bound to have a serious impact on the local economy that is heavily dependent on income from sheep farmers.

The hope is that most fires will be completely under control before early afternoon as an expected change in winds may make the situation more difficult.

In the meantime, firefighters are also dealing with fires in Poggio Ridente and Baida as well as Carini on mount Pecoraro. Again mostly grazing land has burnt.