The fire broke out a few days ago near a nature reserve in the Gerania mountain range. Many fires are still active.
Hundreds of firefighters also battled a large forest fire near Athens on Saturday. Thanks to the favorable weather conditions, they were able to control the largest fire front on Friday evening. Fire chief Stefanos Kolokoris said on Saturday that several fires were still active.
The fire broke out late Wednesday night near a nature reserve in the Gerania mountain range, 90 km west of Athens, and spread quickly. Nearly 20 villages had to be evacuated and several homes were destroyed.
Although 270 firefighters and 16 aircraft were deployed, pine forests, vineyards and olive groves over an area of 55 square kilometers had been burnt by Saturday. According to the Civil Defense, the full extent of the damage can only be assessed after all fires are fully controlled.
Kolokoris Fire Chief spoke of one of the biggest fires in the past “20 to 30 years”. It also broke out unusually early in the season. The expert, Euthymius Likas of the University of Athens, described the fire as an “environmental disaster”. Everything must now be done to avoid devastating landslides and floods in the fall.
Severe drought, strong winds and temperatures above 30 degrees cause devastating forest fires in Greece every summer. Three years ago, 102 people were killed in the country’s worst fire yet in the coastal resort of Matti, near Athens.
(APA / AFP)