Tourists evacuated following huge fire in Salento

The fires in the region of Salento.

  BARI - - A vast fire has spread in Ugento, in the province of Lecce, causing bathers to flee the beaches and the evacuation of tourists from an apartment block, according to the fire brigade.

 The fire brigade and the Civil Protection intervened on the scene, requesting the dispatch of two fire-fighting Canadair planes blasting water to tackle the flames.

  Firefighters also asked for other teams from Taranto and Brindisi and two fire-fighting units from Basilicata and Campania.

 The fire started in the village of Torre Mozza, advancing about three to four km until it reached Lido Marini, where a tourist resort at the entrance to the seaside resort was evacuated. 

 The ancient large farm of Rottacapozza, one of the surrounding accommodation facilities, was evacuated as a precautionary measure.

 The fear was that the fire, fuelled by the strong wind, could suddenly advance towards the tourist resort area. 

 The prefecture, however, announced that the fire area has been contained and that the more than 100 tourists evacuated from the farmhouse were almost all being housed at other accommodation facilities in the area. 

 For the time being, only damage to some cars has been reported, the fire brigade reports.

 "The fire front is under control, firefighting operations are underway, even with the use of two Canadairs," firefighting authorities remarked from the crisis unit dedicated to firefighting activities. 

 "This is a crime. They have burnt my green land, a precious asset destroyed by those who do not know what to do and cause these disasters," deplored the mayor of Ugento, Salvatore Chiga, who had been watching over the fire for hours. 

 "Luckily," he continued, "the fire did not reach the town centre, otherwise it would have been a tragedy. I must say thank you to everyone, to all those who are working tirelessly and giving their souls.”