At least five people have been wounded and holidaymakers evacuated after wildfires devastated a pine wood near a beach in Pescara, Italy, as one of the worst heatwaves in decades swept across south-east Europe.
A five-year-old girl was taken to hospital but her condition is not believed to be life-threatening, according to reports.
About 800 people were evacuated from their homes, including a convent of nuns, after a fire broke out in the 53-hectare (131-acre) Pineta Dannunziana nature reserve, as the fires continue to be active on different fronts.
“We had to evacuate several homes and beach resorts due to the smoke,” said Carlo Masci, the mayor of Pescara. “The biggest problem is the hot wind. We are doing the best we can to limit the damage.”
More than 800 flare-ups were recorded this weekend, mainly in the south, Italy’s national fire service said.
“In the last 24 hours, firefighters have carried out more than 800 interventions: 250 in Sicily, 130 in Puglia and Calabria, 90 in Lazio and 70 in Campania,” the service tweeted.
Wildfires have also broken out across much of south-eastern Europe, including Spain, Greece and Turkey, who are dealing with one of the most severe heatwaves in decades, with temperatures rising above 40C (104F), forcing hundreds to evacuate.