Italian students fined €27 million for barbecue that started forest fire

Two Italian students have been told to pay a joint fine of €27 million, Italian media reported on Wednesday, after being accused of letting a barbecue start a forest fire.

Italian students fined €27 million for barbecue that started forest fire
The wildfire near Lake Como destroyed around 1,000 hectares of forest. File photo: Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP

Prosecutors say the two 22-year-olds, who dispute the case, lit a barbecue with a group of friends near Lake Como in the north of Italy on December 30th to celebrate New Year.

The wildfire was started by the embers of the barbecue, eventually ravaging 1,000 hectares of forest, according to the findings of an investigation. Several buildings were destroyed, including one in which all the domestic animals died, according to the daily La Repubblica.

The fire destroyed hundreds of hectares of the forests that surround Lake Como. Photo: Rachael Martin/The Local

The huge fine for the two students was calculated in accordance with a decade-old formula which determines the financial penalty depending on the scale of the damage.

It was unclear how the two students were expected to afford the fine. Their lawyers have three weeks to challenge the amount in an administrative court.


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