On Wednesday, firefighters in Tuscany fought a wildfire that caused hundreds of people to flee as gas tanks trapped in the flames detonated, while smoke from a blaze in northeast Italy prompted shipbuilder Fincantieri (FCT.MI) to close a 3,000-person business.

As temperatures continue to rise, wildfires have erupted in numerous locations of Italy this week.

The country’s highest heatwave warning, which warns of major health concerns associated with the weather, was issued to nine cities, up from five on Tuesday. On Thursday, the figure is projected to grow to 14, including Rome, Milan, and Florence, and to 16 on Friday.

Temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius in most of the north and center of the country this week, as well as in Puglia in the south and on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

On Wednesday, a fire that started on Monday evening near the Tuscan town of Lucca was still burning, having destroyed 600 hectares (2.3 square miles) of woods.

The fires blazed through the night, reaching several communities and causing some liquefied gas tanks to burst, forcing roughly 500 people to flee, the region’s governor Eugenio Giani said on Twitter.

“Some fronts have strengthened because of the wind,” Giani said. “We’re aiming to contain the fire within a set area by tonight when (helicopters and Canadair water bombers) will stop flying.”

Residents in the northeastern Friuli Venezia Giulia region were encouraged to remain inside due to heavy smoke from a wildfire that began on Tuesday in the Carso region bordering Croatia and Slovenia.

The fire forced the state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri to halt its shipyard in Monfalcone.

Source: Reuters

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