After the onset of an unusually hot summer in Scandinavia, a violent forest fire in northwestern Finland has destroyed an area of more than 300 hectares. Authorities said the fire, which broke out on Monday, about 25 km south of the port of Kalajoki, had not been fully brought under control until yesterday. However, due to the rainfall in the area, it was contained.
“It will take at least a week, maybe two or three, for the fire to be completely extinguished,” said fire chief Jarmo Habanen. About 250 emergency services, including soldiers, participated in the firefighting work. No evacuations were needed in the already sparsely populated area.
Habanen said the cause of the fire was unknown. After the unusually hot June and July with temperatures over 30 degrees in some areas, the forests are extremely dry. “If the climate warms our summer that much, I’m sure that will happen a lot in the future,” said the chief of operations.
Hundreds of forest fires in Sicily
Meanwhile, the Italian fire brigade continues to fight several wildfires in Sicily. Yesterday, emergency services moved into the late afternoon 140 times due to the flames, the fire brigades announced on the Twitter SMS service. Nationwide, the fire brigade reported a total of about 370 wildfire operations.
The situation is also critical in Lazio, where the capital is Rome, as well as in the Puglia and Campania regions. A picture from a helicopter showed fires that had penetrated as far as the large city of Catania in eastern Sicily. Thick clouds of smoke rose above the town houses at the foot of the Etna volcano.
The Civil Protection Authority of Sicily has predicted the highest level of fire risk in eastern and northern Sicily today. Temperatures should be just under 40°C again.
The fire has been burning for days, especially in southern Italy and the big islands. In addition to Sicily, Western Sardinia is also particularly affected. The forests and houses there burned. Rescue workers had to bring people to safety. Drought, heat and strong winds continue to spread fires.
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