Today in the Council of Ministers an increase in penalties for those found responsible for the fires
The fires that broke out yesterday in Sardinia are just the latest in a long series. In fact, in July there were 216 fires throughout Italy that sent 53,000 hectares of land up in smoke according to calculations based on Effis data. AND today in the Council of Ministers there is an increase in the penalties for arsonists. In particular, the draft decree law being examined by the CDM modifies article 423-bis, which regulates the crime of forest fire.
“The statutory minimum will be increased from four to six years for those who cause a fire in ‘woods, woods or forests or on forest nurseries intended for reforestation, their own or others’. If the fire is culpable, the minimum penalty increases from one to two years of imprisonment”, declared the Minister for Civil Protection and Marine Policies, Sebastiano Musumeci.
“Finally – he adds – the draft provides that the penalty ‘is increased by one third to one half when the fact is committed in order to gain a profit for oneself or for others or with abuse of powers or with violation of duties inherent in the execution of tasks or to carry out services in the field of prevention and active fight against forest fires”. “I thank my colleague Carlo Nordio for immediately sharing the need to change the law. Of course, it is not the solution to the serious problem: but the harsher penalty and its effectiveness will serve to discourage those who have gotten away with it so far! Also because, as is well known, most fires have an intentional nature or are linked to lack of prevention, therefore due to negligence”, he concludes.
THE SITUATION IN SARDINIA
Fortunately, the fire situation in Sardinia improves, where yesterday the mistral fed fires all over the island, with evacuations and farms and a campsite destroyed. In the night they were 60 interventions carried out between the provinces of Nuoro and Cagliari. Teams and three Canadairs are currently in action in Gairo, Posada and San Giovanni Suergiu.
The governor of Sardinia, Christian Solinas, does not seem to have any doubts about the malicious nature of the fires and has sent the Regional Forestry Corps to carry out “the investigations throughout the territory to identify and bring those responsible to justice“. In a note, the president of the Region condemns “the perpetrators of this new criminal massacre committed to the detriment of the Sardinian environmental heritage”.
HUNDREDS OF HECTARES FIRE, FROM CITRUS FRUIT TO FORAGE
According to what emerges from the monitoring of Coldiretti, they are hundreds of hectares of land that burned down, hitting farms and farms with burnt fodder and citrus plants, without forgetting the damage to agricultural vehicles and irrigation, electric and pumping systems. If certainly the flaring up of the flames is favored by the anomalous climate with high temperatures, what is worrying are the carelessness and the action of the arsonists with 60% of the fires estimated to be caused voluntarily in Italy. It will take years, Coldiretti specifies, before the destroyed fruit plants can return to produce with environmental and economic damage to the companies.
Coldiretti is engaged in a monitoring and support action for the affected companies but prevention and attention action is also important. In the fight against fires, the speed of action is crucial and it is precisely the farmers in the area who constitute, concludes Coldiretti, a natural and widespread network of surveillance, without which the bill for the devastation would be much heavier, but which also exposes them to serious risks, especially in a situation where drought and high temperatures favor the rapid spread of flames.