An elderly man died in Calabria as wildfires caused his house to cave in. The night of the 10th/11th August was the worst so far for fires.
70% more fires than last year
Firefighters battled 300 different blazes across the southern regions of Italy, Calabria and Sicily in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. Seven Canadair planes were also deployed.
The area has seen 70% more wildfires than in the previous year. Most of the fires broke out in Sicily, Puglia, Calabria and Sardinia
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Polsi is “almost cut off” due to wildfires on the Aspromonte mountain in Calabria, the site’s Dean, Don Tonino Saraco, told ANSA on Wednesday.
“The main road is blocked by the flames,” said Saraco. “The only access is via two secondary roads, one of which is a mule track”.
He said many cars and pilgrims who had set off on foot to reach the sanctuary were having to turn back.
Climate change to blame for increase in wildfires?
Many regions of Italy have been hit by wildfires in recent weeks. Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria and Abruzzo were hit particularly hard.
Italy is not alone, with devastating wildfires in many other parts of the world this summer. Experts are linking the increase in fires to the climate crisis.