Legambiente and the Dipartimento della protezione civile (department for civil protection) have launched a nationwide campaign entitled: Dont play with fire. The summer heat and lack of rain has fed the latest round of forest fires in Italy with 28 recorded last weekend. In recent days, flames lapped the countryside around Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Molise, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany and Umbria.

Almost all fires in 2004 were man-made according to Italian environmental organisation Legambiente: 37 per cent were caused by negligence, 61 per cent by arson and the others were due to to natural causes.