Forest blaze causes flight disruptions at Rome airport

ROME • A forest fire was raging near Rome's Fiumicino Airport yesterday, forcing the temporary suspension of departing flights and a reduction in arrivals at Italy's busiest hub, officials said.

The fire was burning in one of several forests of pine trees near the airport.

Mr Esterino Montino, the mayor of Fiumicino, the town closest to the airport, was quoted by the Corriere della Sera website as saying that the situation was "very serious". Flights in and out of the airport resumed later in the day.

Forest rangers said in a statement that the blaze was affecting about 40ha of a nature reserve that totals 6,474ha.

They said that the fire was being whipped up by winds and that fire-fighting planes were dropping water onto the area.

Some roads in the area were closed to traffic.

The airport only fully reopened earlier this month after a fire on May 7 gutted part of its international terminal.

Fiumicino is on the Mediterranean Sea west of the Italian capital. It is close to a number of parks and forests of pines native to the area.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2015, with the headline 'Forest blaze causes flight disruptions at Rome airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe