Lazio Region warns Rome area at risk of bushfires

Zingaretti appeals to local authorities to cut overgrown green areas.

Local authorities in Lazio and the greater Rome area have been warned to cut the overgrown grass in "abandoned green areas" and roadside verges which represent a significant fire risk with the arrival of summer.
The warning came from the president of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti, who during the launch of this year's firefighting campaign announced that €2.5 million has been allocated for the purchase of seven helicopters and €400,000 for the cutting of region's grass and weeds.Rome prefect Paola Basilone identified the roads most at risk of wildfires around the capital as the Pontina, Ostiense and Grande Raccordo Anulare ringroad, which experience "problems every summer."

The greater Rome area suffered a spate of bushfires last summer, almost four times the number compared to the year before, with many of them believed to have been started deliberately.

The current overgrown state of Rome's parks recently made the headlines when the city's environment councillor Pinuccia Montanari suggested that cows and sheep be drafted in to keep the grass down.