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Wildfires torch Sicily

30 fires burn forests and fields around country

ROME | August 6, 2012

Some 300 tourists have been evacuated from a Sicilian resort, officials said, as about 30 fires burned forests and fields around the country.

Vacationers were forced to evacuate resorts in northwestern areas of the island around Calampiso on Sunday, Italian news agency ANSA reported. They were taken to nearby San Vito Lo Capo, where they slept outside in the yard of an elementary school.

A blaze near San Vito Lo Capo has cut off roads to some resorts around Castelluzzo.

A forestry worker was killed Saturday near Castronovo di Sicilia, about 30 miles southeast of Palermo, while helping to fight the fires.

The mayor of San Vito Lo Capo said the nearby Zingaro nature reserve "has gone up in smoke." While the fire was reported under control, Matteo Rizzo said that was only because the fire had burned itself out.

Sicilian authorities have sent out nine different requests for help, while officials in the Italian regions of Campania and Lazio have each made six requests.

Italy has been suffering under hot dry weather, with temperatures reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Sicily.

Half the fires are thought to be man-made, about half of those caused by accidents

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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