About 35 hectares of vegetation gone up in smoke between reeds, abandoned orchards and scrubs. A gas cylinder blown up and, according to the testimonies of the inhabitants, there would have been five other roars probably attributable to other explosions. “A real apocalypse”, the experts define it, the one that took place yesterday in the area of the Paradise of the orange trees where a large fire broke out. The flames involved the Ippocampo di mare, Jonio and Azzurro villages. The fire developed around 2pm and the first rescue operations were recorded at 5pm. The flames were so strong that it was necessary to evacuate the highly populated area. The fire also hit some of the terraced houses and even a caravan was engulfed in flames.
It is not the first fire of the season that persists in an area rich in vegetation. For this reason, the Detachment of the Forestry of Catania was forced to call in three air vehicles which, in total, carried out 96 launches. They were joined by the fire brigade helicopter that helped tame the flames with 23 jumps and a canadair who, with 15 jumps, averted the risk that the Simeto Oasis went up in smoke. Such was the fear of the inhabitants, some of whom were poisoned as a result of the smoke screen. On site, in addition to the Forestry agents, also the firefighters and the volunteers of the regional and municipal civil protection who intervened with two municipal tankers.
On the spot, in addition to the staff of the State Police, the financial police, the carabinieri patrol of the Playa station and the Oasis surveillance officers also operated. The intervention of several 118 ambulances that have rescued the residents was necessary. The extinguishing and remediation operations ended shortly after 11pm..