Three blocks of flats housing 40 families were reportedly evacuated, while cars were also at risk of being engulfed by flames.

A school was also evacuated, as smoke inundated the upper floors of its buildings.

Canadair aircrafts are still in action over the area, backing up fire crews and forest rangers.

Homes were also evacuated at Gioia Tauro in Calabria in the wake of a fire at a waste plant, and two men died in the southern region while trying to put out bushfires on Thursday.

In the southern Tuscan Maremma area, a huge fire was burning in the zone of Castiglione della Pescaia, a popular tourist town.

A week ago, an arsonist lit a fire in the area that went on to destroy some 160 hectares of Mediterranean shrubs.

Fires are still raging across other parts of southern Italy including Mt Vesuvius, where the army is helping out fire crews, but authorities have confirmed that the situation on Vesuvius has improved slightly.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 people were evacuated due to encroaching fires in the Gallura area of Sardinia on Friday.

Many of the fires which have torn through southern Italy over the past week have reportedly been caused by arson, and two alleged arsonists were arrested near Rome on Friday.

Civil Protection Chief Fabrizio Curcio has called for stiffer penalties for arsonists, while Justice Undersecretary Cosimo Maria Ferri said the punishments were already strong, but that the government was ready to raise them.