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Wild fires blaze across Italy

July 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

ROME, July 21 (UPI) -- A series of forest fires have burned thousands of acres across Italy, while police said they have taken a suspected arsonist into custody.

The suspect is allegedly responsible for setting at least 12 fires since September, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

He was taken into custody Thursday in Tuscany after being caught setting fire to brush. He is currently under house arrest, the report said.

Meanwhile, another fire erupted Friday in Nuoro, central Sardinia, forcing a local university to evacuate.

The fires have been burning thousands of acres of forests in Viterbo, Lazio, Liguria, and Sardinia.

The Pollino National Park in southern Italy is at risk of catching fire, officials said.

"The whole park is surrounded by fires. What's happening tells us this will not be a calm year," said Domenico Pappaterra, the park's president.

The fires are believed to have been started deliberately, the report said.

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