Tens of fires, temperatures above 115 degrees, the sirocco blowing red sand from the Sahara have forced authorities to close nursery schools, day care centers and parts of the Palermo-Messina freeway today. Because of high winds, firefighting airplanes cannot fly.
Update: a trusted Palermo source on Palermo in Bianco e Nero's Facebook page says the column of smoke on Monte Pellegrino means thefires are menacing Santa Rosalia's sanctuary. Fires have broken out in the city in the neighborhoods of Partanna Mondello, Addaura, Vergine Maria. The Rotoli cemetery may go up in flames. People who live near the Cathedral in downtown Palermo have been evacuated.