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‘Unprecedented’: Sardinia wildfires force evacuation of 900 as Greece and France send aid

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Raging forest fires in central Sardinia have forced the evacuation of 900 people as flames threatened some residential areas and others were engulfed by dense smoke, firefighters said on Monday.

No deaths or injuries have been reported.

“It is an unprecedented reality in Sardinia’s history,” regional governor, Christian Salinas, said. “So far, 20,000 hectares of forest that represent centuries of environmental history of our island have gone up in ashes.”

France and Greece dispatched aircraft to help put out wildfires, which have consumed around 20,000 hectares (nearly 50,000 acres) in the province of Oristano. They join 10 Italian firefighting squads and 5 other aircraft deployed.

“During these difficult times, we stand together,” Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said on Twitter.

Firefighters battled all night bringing under control a blaze near the town of Montiferro that displaced 400 residents over the weekend.

The wildfires, which broke out over the weekend, have been spread by dry southerly winds.

This unprecedented event came as in Greece, Mitsotakis said firefighters had battled around 50 fires during the past 24 hours and it was likely there would be more with meteorologists warning that a further heatwave was possible.

“I want to emphasise that August remains a difficult month,” he said. “That is why it is important for all of us, all state services, to be on absolute alert until the firefighting period is formally over.”

Source: AP News.

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