A man purportedly lights fire in the forest causing a massive uncontrollable blaze in Italy
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 12-Aug-2017
Rome, August 12: A volunteer firefighter has been filmed starting a blaze in northern Italy at a time when the country is struggling to cope with a spate of wildfires.
A 28-year-old man was arrested in Pavia, Lombardy, on suspicion of setting fire to hedges and rubbish bins before returning to his force’s base, alerting colleagues and rushing with them to put out the blaze. Police said he was suspected of having started at least seven fires since 2014.
Firefighters across Italy have been tackling wildfires caused by a European-wide heatwave, with nine regions urgently appealing for water planes.
Mario Oliverio, the president of the Calabria region, called on the Italian government to send in the army as exhausted firefighters and civil protection volunteers worked to prevent villages from being engulfed by flames.
It comes after 15 firefighters were arrested in Sicily on suspicion of starting blazes in order to receive bonuses.
Antonio Brizzi, the secretary general of Conapo, the firefighters’ union, said: “You cannot link the concept of earning a salary and firefighting in a period of economic crisis such as this. Cuts mean we have 3,500 fewer firemen than necessary, which has led in some cases to a hurried use of volunteers.”
He said more stringent psychological tests needed to be carried out on volunteer firefighters. The continuing high temperatures led to violent storms from Thursday night into Friday morning in the Veneto region, which left three people in hospital and 45 others with minor injuries.