Fire in Sardinia, Italy, declared under control

Aug. 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM
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LACONI, Italy, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Forest fires on the Italian island of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, burning since Wednesday, were under control, authorities said Friday.

Towns in the center of Sardinia were menaced by fires that forced evacuations and burned 8,000 hectares (19,768 acres) of forest and pasture land, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Authorities said the arrival of five helicopters and three firefighting airplanes brought the fires under control, adding they are investigating to learn if the fires were deliberately set.

"They're still working to clean up the area," said Ignazio Paolo Pisu, mayor of the Laconi, one of the cities vulnerable in the fire. "Today, everything seems calmer."

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