Several tourists fled into the sea in the northern Italian Adriatic seaside resort of Bibione because of a forest fire 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.
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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 people,” San Michele al Tagliamento deputy mayor Pierluigi Grosseto told Ansa news agency.
The police are investigating the cause of the fire. Because of the drought, Grosseto says it’s possible the flames 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.
After days of extinguishing work on the French Atlantic coast south of Bordeaux, there is hope that one of the two large forest fires will calm down. The area burned near Teste-de-Buch did not increase overnight, the Gironde prefecture announced on Saturday morning.
However, the fire is not yet under control and there is a high risk that it will flare up again. The mayor of the town, Patrick Davet, told the French broadcaster France Info: “The situation is worrying, but we have a lot of hope.”