Firefighters in Greece battle blazes fanned by gale force winds


The European Union announced it was deploying two Cyprus-based fire-fighting aircraft and a Romanian fire-fighting team as wildfires rage uncontrolled in Greece for a third day.

  • More than firefighters, backed by 17 aircrafts struggled to contain wildfires fanned by gale force winds in several parts of Greece on Monday.
  • The blaze burned for a third day near the northern port city of Alexandroupolis.
  • Thirteen communities were evacuated as a precaution since the fire broke out on Saturday.

Hundreds of firefighters struggled to contain wildfires fanned by gale force winds in several parts of Greece on Monday as authorities warned most regions faced a high risk of new blazes.

More than 200 firefighters backed by 17 aircrafts were battling a wildfire burning for the third day near the northern port city of Alexandroupolis, where 13 communities were evacuated as a precaution since the fire broke out on Saturday, the fire brigade said.

Cyprus said it was sending two firefighting aircraft.

“We are in a state of alert, as we will be tomorrow, due to very high temperatures and gale force winds,” fire brigade spokesperson Ioannis Artopios said.

“We are facing extreme phenomena,” he said.

READ | More than 26 000 ordered to flee as Tenerife wildfire rages

Summer wildfires in Greece are common but have been made worse in recent years by unusually hot, dry and windy conditions which scientists have linked to climate change.

More than 20 000 foreign tourists had to be evacuated from the holiday island of Rhodes in July as wildfires burned for a week, destroying hotels and resorts.

Firefighters in Spain also battled on Monday to stabilise a huge wildfire that has devastated forests on the island of Tenerife for six days.

In Greece’s northern seaside city of Kavala, two firefighters were injured on Monday while trying to contain a blaze threatening homes in the village of Dialekto, the fire brigade said.

A wildfire also broke out in the village of Psacha near Evia, where more evacuations were ordered. More than 90 fires and five aircraft were fighting the flames, assisted by French firefighting forces, it said.

A total of 64 wildfires erupted across Greece in the last 24 hours, the fire brigade said.


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