News

Friday
May, 24

Wildfires burn 60,000 hectares in Italy this year: Industry Association

Featured in:



Rome, Aug 26 (IANS) Wildfires have so far burned more than 600 square km. (60,000 hectares) of land in Italy, more than in all of 2022, Coldiretti, the country’s main agricultural association said. It said on Friday that the past two unusually dry and hot summers have left water levels in rivers and lakes low, contributing to dry conditions in wooded areas. The areas impacted most by the fires are the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, but other parts of southern Italy also experienced uncontrolled blazes. Most recently, fires torched the eastern part of the Tuscan island of Elba.

The total area impacted by fires is more than three times the size of the city of Milan in northern Italy, Xinhua news agency reported.

Even though the summer of 2022 was affected by drought and heatwaves, the weather this year has been even more extreme with record high temperatures in many parts of the country. The back-to-back heatwaves have also had a cumulative effect, leaving forests more vulnerable.

Police are reportedly conducting multiple investigations into possible arson in some cases of the wildfires, especially those in Sicily and Sardinia. A seven-metre-tall wooden statue called the ‘Dragon of Vaia’ in Trentino, northern Italy, was burnt earlier this week and media reports indicate that police are “almost certain” arson was the case.

On Friday, authorities in Greece said they had arrested 79 people on suspicion of arson in connection with recent fires in that country. In Italy, no arrests have been made so far.

Coldiretti said that in addition to the land lost to fires, the extreme weather events (windstorms, hail, and floods) that have occurred this summer in Italy have had other far-reaching impacts: grape production is expected to be 14 per cent below last year’s already reduced harvest. The country’s pears yields are expected to decrease by 63 per cent, milk production is estimated to be reduced by 20 per cent, and production to shrink by 10 per cent.

Earlier in August, Coldiretti estimated that the damage to the agricultural sector in Italy so far this year would top 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion).

In a statement released on Thursday, the group said that part of the fruit produced is unsellable, and that the damage to fruit trees and vegetable production is likely to reduce next year’s harvests even if the weather is less extreme in 2024, since the plants will be in a recovery phase.

According to meteorologists, the hot and dry weather is expected to be pushed away by a cold front moving in from northern Italy. It should reduce temperatures and produce rainfall in much of Italy starting Sunday or Monday. But while the precipitation would likely eliminate the risk of more wildfires, Coldiretti said it would not resolve the medium-term problems caused by the drought and heatwaves.

“Heavy thunderstorms and violent rainfall only aggravate the situation,” the group said in a statement.

“They cause mudslides and the dry soil is not able to absorb the excess water.”

The group said the water-related issues would be resolved only if rainfall was “continuous and moderate”.

–IANS

int/khz



Source link

Find us on

Latest articles

- Advertisement - spot_imgspot_img

Related articles

Adani Enterprises shares in news today as firm to...

Adani Enterprises shares in news today as firm to consider raising of funds Adani Enterprises stock closed 8.01%...

PHD Marketing Takes Top Team to Drupa 2024

PHD Marketing Takes Top Team to Drupa 2024 Leading 360-degree B2B agency PHD Marketing is descending upon Düsseldorf...

Terinex Flexibles Opens Net Zero Co2 Rated Factory Building

Terinex Flexibles Opens Net Zero Co2 Rated Factory Building Terinex Flexibles is pleased to announce the opening of...

Oklo Partners with Wyoming Hyperscale to Deliver 100 Megawatts...

Oklo Partners with Wyoming Hyperscale to Deliver 100 Megawatts to its Data Centers “As the widespread adoption of...

Celltrion receives European Commission approval of Omlyclo (CT-P39), the...

Celltrion receives European Commission approval of Omlyclo (CT-P39), the first and only omalizumab biosimilar approved in Europe The...

Publication of Definitive Interim Result of the Public Tender...

Publication of Definitive Interim Result of the Public Tender Offer – Constantia Holds 86.38% and Declares the...