Cagliari, August 8 - At least four people have been injured and evacuations continued Thursday in communities on Sardinia as fires continued to rage through forests and brush, fanned by continued hot weather and winds. A forestry worker suffered from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation in the area of Sinnai, about 20 kilometres from the city of Cagliari. And a cattle producer, burned while trying to save his stock, was among those hurt as a result of the fires that appeared to be worsening. Still more residents in the town of Laconi, some of whom had been evacuated Wednesday night along with senior citizens in a nursing home, were ordered to leave their homes as fire raged closer to the community. About 40 people were forced to leave their homes Wednesday night and sleep in local schools due to the blazes near Laconi, a small town in the centre of the island. The elderly were also moved out of a nursing home in the nearby village of Su Lau as a precaution. Regional government officials called for help from the national government to deal with the crisis that had already consumed at least 2,000 hectares of vegetation on the island on Wednesday. Sardinia faces "a risk of a real ecological and social disaster," said Senator Luciano Uras, who called for more water bombers to help fight the fires. Meanwhile, firefighters had been using helicopters and an airtanker on fires in the area of Sinnai. A final assessment of the damage had not been made but crews were busy fighting spot fires that continued to break out amid ongoing hot, dry weather. Meteorologists say temperatures have climbed past 40 degrees C on Sardinia recently, and hot winds have fanned the flames.
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di Giovanni Pastore