EU sends four fire-fighting planes to tame Sardinia fires

July 25, 2021 5:57 PM EDT

Smoke billows from a wildfire near Cuglieri, Sardinia, Italy July 25, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. CRONACHE NUORESI via REUTERS

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is sending four forest firefighting planes to Sardinia in response to a request from Italy to help tame fires that have swept across parts of the island, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people.

Two of the Canadair planes, amphibious planes used to pick up water to drop on fires, are provided by France from the European Civil Protection Pool and two by Greece from the resources of the rescEU programme, the European Commission said.

Seven Canadair aircraft were already at work in the area, the Italian civil protection authority said.

The wildfires have hit the area of Montiferru, in the centre-west of the island, because of a heat wave with over 4,000 hectares (9,880 acres) burnt and 355 people evacuated, the EC said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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