Drone appears to catch suspected arsonist starting wildfire in Italy

Footage shared on Twitter by Italy's deputy prime minister appears to show a man lighting a fire in a Calabrian forest.

A drone has captured a suspected arsonist appearing to start wildfires in the Italian region of Calabria, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.

Wildfires have been raging across Europe and the Mediterranean, with Algeria, Tunisia and Greece also hit, with the latter claiming evidence pointed blame towards arsonists – but now one appears to have been on camera in Italy.

Deputy PM Antonio Tajani shared the footage on Twitter, writing: “Thanks to a deterrence operation with drones, [local authorities] managed to flush out an arsonist who had already started some fires.

“Only with an accurate control of the territory can these criminals be stopped.”

At the end of the video, local governor Roberto Occhiuto speaks to the camera in Italian, warning of a zero tolerance approach to arsonists, who he says will be caught by his arsenal of 30 drones.

According to a translation, he also says: “Calabria is a civilised region but it also has some imbeciles who go to set fires in the woods, like this arsonist we caught yesterday.

“Where does he come from, the caves?”

Thousands of British holidaymakers have been hit by wildfires in the Greek island of Rhodes, where more than 19,000 people have been evacuated.

Despite arsonists being blamed for some fires, scorching temperatures are thought to be behind the majority, with July 2023 is on track to be the hottest month ever recorded.

Temperature readings of the air and sea as well as losses of Antarctic sea ice have all smashed previous records this summer, manifesting in relentlessly extreme heatwaves and wildfires around the world.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Copernicus, the European Union’s climate watchers, said this July will be the hottest “by a significant margin” despite looking at data from only the first three weeks.

Not only were those weeks the hottest such period on record but they have been so far above the previous monthly all-time high – an average of 16.95C compared with 16.63C throughout July 2019 – that scientists are “virtually certain” of seeing the monthly record smashed this year.

July 6 was the hottest day ever recorded, with a global mean temperature of 17.08C, and of the 30 hottest days ever recorded, 21 of them have been during this month.

UN Secretary General António Guterres  said: “Climate change is here, it is terrifying and it is just the beginning,” he said, while separate analysis suggests July could be the hottest month in 120,000 years.

“The era of global warming has ended, the era of global boiling has arrived. The air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable, and the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable.”

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