Arsonists Accused of Starting Wildfires Across Sicily and Southern Italy


Raging wildfires in Sicily and Calabria are being blamed on arsonists, with one Italian mayor offering a five-year tax exemption to those who can identify any of the people behind the fires.

The mayor of the Sicilian town of Linguaglossa, Salvatore Puglisi, stated that he would reward anyone who came forward with information on any arsonists, saying: “Those who denounce arsonists will be exempt from taxes for five years.”

Pietro Macaluso, the mayor of Petralia Sottana, also said he believed the fires in his area were the work of intentional arson, stating that the city had been “attacked.”

Over a hundred people have been evacuated due to the fires there and three families have been made homeless, Il Giornale reports.

Other mayors, such as Polizzi Generosa’s mayor Gandolfo Librizzi have also declared the fires as “attacks” by arsonists.

So far, the fires in Sicily and Calabria have claimed the lives of five people and killed many animals. According to Il Giornale, firefighters carried out 528 different interventions in a period of just 12 hours in the two regions on Thursday.

Nino Spirlì, a member of Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party and the acting president of Calabria, said the situation was serious and called on the government to declare a state of emergency.

Italy is not the only country seeing massive wildfires in recent days. In Greece, fires engulfed much of the country, with officials describing the fires as a “biblical catastrophe.”

In the span of just a few days, over a hundred fires broke out in different parts of the country and while some were contained relatively quickly, others grew large and uncontrollable.

Greek police stated last week that they were also investigating possible arson attacks behind the fires, with a man being taken into custody in Kryoneri.

Media have also reported the discovery of a pair of “incendiary devices” north of the Greek capital of Athens.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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