Firefighters across Italy have tackled more than 1,000 brush or scrub fires in recent days. 280 fires were reported in the Lazio region, 250 in Campania, 150 in Tuscany, 110 in Calabria, and 100 in Apulia. On Monday July 17th alone, a firefighting aircraft had been asked to intervene 31 times to tackle large blazes, the Civil Protection agency said. But although the majority of the fires they have tackled this summer were started "through arson or stupidity" according to Italyâ€™s fire service, it seems that drought and high temperatures have also contributed to the catastrophe. â€˜With half the average rainfall last month and temperatures higher than normal, occasionally touching 40Â°C in the south, fields and forests have turned into perfect kindlingâ€™, claims the national agricultural association Coldiretti.
Rome mayor Virginia Raggi stated that â€˜the wildfire was a very serious situation. We need the help of the region and the government. Rome cannot be left alone in the face of this environmental disaster. We must all work togetherâ€™. On Monday 17th, Lazio's regional president Nicola Zingaretti, called for the government to declare a state of emergency for the region.