Homes evacuated in Rome, Naples as wildfires encroach

Posillipo, Castelfusano go up in smoke

17 July, 19:58

    (ANSAmed) - Rome, July 17 - Homes were evacuated in Rome and Naples as famed beauty spots went up in smoke outside the Italian capital and in the southern Italian port amid a continuing spate of arson-linked wildfires across Italy.

    A wildfire broke out in the pine forest of Castelfusano outside Rome and investigators said they could not rule out arson. A huge column of smoke rose above the Cristoforo Colombo road and the Litoranea coastal road, causing traffic to be halted on both thoroughfares. The fire appears to have broken out in three different spots in the forest, police said, indicating arson. Houses close to the blaze were evacuated.

    Meanwhile in Naples a wildfire blazed in the famed Posillipo district.

    The fire, which was said to be spreading on a 400-500-metre front on the scenic Viale Petrarca, gobbled up a deserted house in a green area of the famous hill in the heart of the southern port city.

    Other houses were evacuated.

    Wildfires raged across many parts of central and southern Italy Monday after the liberal-left seaside watering hole of Capalbio was hit Sunday.

    Two campsites had to be evacuated at Capalbio, where many of Italy's leftwing politicians and intellectuals gather each summer.

    A firefighter in Pistoia was taken ill Monday after fighting fires for several hours.

    The Lazio regional government said it would ask for a state of emergency to be declared because of the fires. Fires were still blazing on Mt Vesuvius near Naples, on the island of Elba, the Tremiti Islands, and at Olbia in sardinia.

    A fire next to a disabled home at Anguillara led to two people suffering from smoke inhalation.

    The hot weather that has fanned the flames was replaced in some parts by high winds on Sunday.

    Beachgoers at Ostia near Rome were hit by a tornado that swept away deckchairs and sun loungers.

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