Italy seeks help from neighboring countries to fight fires in Sardinia

“This is an unprecedented disaster, as hot winds complicate efforts to contain the flames,” said island governor Christian Solinas.

According to Rai News, around 1,200 people, including residents of a medical institution, were evacuated from their homes.

The same source said frightened tourists were among those fleeing the small coastal village of Porto Alabe.

Canadair planes pulled water off the coast of Porto Alabe, before hovering over properties near the shore and spraying burning vegetation just behind homes.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Facebook that the Italian Civil Defense had asked other European countries to provide them with aircraft to fight the fires.

A large area in the province of Oristano (in the west of the island) is “on its knees due to the devastating fire”, the minister said.

The governor said about 20,000 hectares of vegetation have been consumed, properties have been damaged and animals have died. The fire hazard level remains “extreme”, underscoring civil defence.

Firefighters said about 7,500 people involved in the relief operation, including members of the Forest Police and Red Cross, are helping to evacuate people and those in danger.

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