A forest fire broke out on the Italian coast in the holiday resort of Bibione on Friday evening. The beachgoers fled into the sea, where the Coast Guard rescued them a little later.
Heat and drought have repeatedly triggered forest fires in southern Europe in recent days. On Friday, fires broke out both on the Spanish Costa del Sol and in Bibione, Italy. Several tourists fled into the sea in the Adriatic seaside resort and were rescued there by the coast guard.
According to media reports, the fire in the area popular with German holidaymakers broke out on Friday afternoon. When asked on Saturday, the coast guard was initially unable to confirm whether Germans were among the rescued. Several fire brigades and a fire-fighting helicopter fought the flames on the border between the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. The operation continued on Saturday.
Firefighters fight numerous fires in Italy
Videos showed how the fires ate up the trees and thick smoke rose into the sky, which could be seen from miles away. “We hope that it will not be revoked in the coming hours, but there should be no missing persons,” said the deputy mayor of San Michele al Tagliamento, Pierluigi Grosseto, the Ansa news agency. The police are investigating the cause of the fire. Because of the drought, Grosseto says it’s possible the fires were self-igniting. The forces fought four fires.
In connection with the extreme drought, fire brigades are currently fighting forest and bush fires nationwide in Italy. In the municipality of Gereut (Frassilongo) in Trentino, northern Italy, 90 firefighters, two helicopters and two fire-fighting aircraft responded to a forest fire in an area of around 70 hectares. Firefighting continued on Saturday. The civil defense warned not to approach the area. The hiking and skiing area is east of Trento.
In Tuscany, too, the Lucca fire brigade had to extinguish fires in a burning olive grove on Friday. Forest and bush fires were also raging in Sicily and Sardinia, and fire-fighting aircraft were used to fight them.