Forest Fires Burning Large Areas of Sardinia in 2021

The numerous forest fires starting, spreading, and engulfing large areas of California, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and other western states are known to people in the United States not only because of the news, but because the smoke from these fires has at times grown so thick that people complain of headaches and watery eyes in distant states. Huge forest fires have also charred tens of thousands of acres across southern Europe: Greece, Turkey, and Southern Italy have been burning — as has been Sardinia. 

Massive forest fires started on the island on July 23, 2021 and by July 26, the initial fires had burned more than 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) across central Sardinia, wiping out homes, farms, crops, and forests, killing or injuring livestock and wildlife, and displacing people and animals.

While the initial fires were quelled, blazes continue to start and burn across the island. The exact number of acres burned is not known, for the fires start and grow so rapidly that accurate fire boundaries can’t always be mapped. The overall damage to forests, wildlife, crops, farm animals, and people won’t be known for some time, and recovery will take years. 

While there’s not much news in English about the Sardinian wildfires, I’ve put a few links below, along with links to Italian sites that include photos and videos of key fires. Many of the damaged areas are well known to me, as I have driven the roads and explored the areas. 

To help those most affected by the fires, individuals across the island and groups across Italy have started GoFundMe campaigns. Some campaigns have a general focus; others have a specific focus on agriculture, animals, or a particular region. I’ve put several GoFundMe links below, should you care to donate. Of course, prayers and best wishes are helpful and welcome.

List of Fires, Updated Daily

The Sardegna Protezione Civile (Sardinian Civil Protection Agency) website maintains a list of wildfires. The list is updated daily.

Articles in English

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/26/firefighters-battle-wildfires-raging-across-south-west-sardinia

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/26/world/europe/wildfires-italy-sardinia.html 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Sardinia_wildfires

Articles in Italian (with photos/video)

https://video.repubblica.it/cronaca/incendi-in-sardegna-le-campagne-sono-divorate-dal-fuoco-le-immagini-dal-drone/393718/394429?ref=search

https://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2021/07/26/gli-incendi-in-sardegna-nelle-ultime-48-ore18.html?ref=search

https://video.repubblica.it/politica/sardegna-lo-sgomento-di-mattarella-in-volo-con-l-elicottero-sulle-zone-devastate-dagli-incendi/393885/394596?ref=search

https://tg24.sky.it/cronaca/2021/07/27/incendi-sardegna-oggi#10

https://www.galluranews.org/incendi-2021-la-sardegna-perde-ogni-anno-oltre-2700-ettari-di-bosco/

https://www.galluranews.org/il-costo-e-di-oltre-10-000e-per-ettaro-questo-il-bilancio-dei-recenti-incendi/

https://www.galluranews.org/incendi-montiferru-le-prime-stime-dei-danni/

https://www.galluranews.org/incendi-bestiame-fienili-pascolo-urgono-i-sostegni/

GoFundMe Campaigns

To see all campaigns related to the 2021 Sardinian fires, click here.

Click here to see the campaign Aiutiamo La Sardegna a Rialzarsi —  Let’s help Sardinia to rise up again, sponsored by Unione Coltivatori Italiani (The Union of Italian Farmers), which is one of the oldest and largest associations working to protect agriculture, farmers, and related businesses across Italy and within the European Union. 

A Note about the Photos

The main photo is from the GoFundMe campaign started by the Unione Coltivatori Italiani The inset photo, taken in 2014, shows a road near one of the burned areas, from KM Koza.