- Title: Temperatures hit 46C in Sicily, forest guards prepare for more wildfires
- Date: 11th August 2021
- Summary: MOUNT ETNA, ITALY (AUGUST 11, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARDS USING SHOVELS TO CLEAR DRY VEGETATION TO STOP OR SLOW THE SPREAD OF POSSIBLE FIRES VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARD USING BRUSHCUTTER TO CUT BUSHES AND VEGETATION VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARDS AT WORK VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARD VEHICLE DRIVING VIEW OF FOREST VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARDS MAKING CHECKS USING BINOCULARS (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FOREST GUARD INSPECTOR, PAOLO LONGO, SAYING: "This year has been difficult for us because of the intense heat. Next year we hope to be able to start our prevention works earlier so that we can prevent fires, especially in woods and particularly here in Etna park." FOREST GUARD MEMBER SPEAKING TO COLLEAGUE ON RADIO VARIOUS OF FOREST GUARD MEMBER USING BINOCULARS TO WATCH FROM WATCHTOWER VARIOUS OF SIGN OUTSIDE PHARMACY SHOWING DATE AND 46 DEGREES CELSIUS CATANIA, ITALY (AUGUST 10, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MAN PREPARING AND SERVING LOCAL CATANIA DRINK CALLED 'SELTZ ALLA LIMONE' (LEMON SELTZ), WHICH IS MADE OF LEMON, SALT AND FIZZY WATER AND DRUNK DURING THE SUMMER TO HELP RELIEVE FROM THE HEAT AND INCREASE SALT INTAKE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN CITY CENTRE VARIOUS OF WAITER SERVING GRANITA (TYPICAL SICILY DESSERT MADE OF ICE AND FRUIT) CUSTOMERS EATING GRANITA VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN SQUARE
- Embargoed: 25th August 2021 16:24
- Keywords: Italy blaze firefighters fires wildfires
- Location: MOUNT ETNA AND CATANIA, ITALY
- City: MOUNT ETNA AND CATANIA, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Environment,Europe,Temperature
- Reuters ID: LVA001EPU5KCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Forest guards on Sicily's Mount Etna were making preparations for possible wildfires on Wednesday (August 11) as temperatures soared to 46 degrees Celsius and forest fires raged in parts of southern Italy.
Using shovels and brushcutters, the forest guards were busy clearing dry vegetation in the forests on the 3,300-metre-high volcano in order to create a buffer of land clear of vegetation that would stop or slow the spread of possible fires.
"This year has been difficult for us because of the intense heat," explained forest guard inspector Paolo Longo in between making checks in the forest using binoculars from watchtower on the mountain.
"Next year we hope to be able to start our prevention works earlier so that we can prevent fires, especially in woods and particularly here in Etna park," he said.
Fires were continuing to ravage southern Italy, burning thousands of acres of land and killing a man in his home, as temperatures hit records well above 40 degrees Celsius (104Â°F) and hot winds stoked the flames.
Multiple blazes erupted in Calabria, the toe of Italy's boot, where a 76-year-old man died after the roof of his house collapsed due to the flames, Ansa news agency reported.
Fires are also sweeping through Sicily, destroying trees and threatening property in the southern and central parts of the island, local media reported.
In the town of Floridia, in southern Sicily, the temperature reached 48.8 degrees Celsius in early afternoon, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe, daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported, citing the regional meteorological information system.
The fire brigade said on Twitter they had carried out over 3,000 operations in Sicily and Calabria in the last 12 hours, employing seven planes to try to douse the flames from above.
In Catania, the city famous for its Baroque architecture is located on the slopes of Mount Etna on the island's eastern coast, people were drinking cups of local beverage 'Seltz alla Limone' (Lemon Seltz) to cool off - a combination of lemon, salt and fizzy water that is drunk during the summer months to get some relief from the heat and increase salt levels.
Fuelled by the hot weather, fires have erupted across southern Europe in recent weeks, with huge damage to the landscape on the Italian island of Sardinia.
At the end of July, people were forced to leave their homes in Catania, a city near Mount Etna, and the local airport to temporarily shut down due to two days of fires that also destroyed a beach resort.
In Greece, many villages on the Peloponnese peninsula were evacuated on Wednesday as exhausted firefighters battled wildfires for a ninth consecutive day. The Italian arm of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said almost 20,000 hectares (49,420 acres) of land in Sardinia had suffered because of the fires which killed animals and destroyed century-old woods.
(Production: Antonio Parrinello, Antonio Denti, Emily Roe)
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