Mon, 05 Jun 2023

Greece battles 4 major wildfires

Robert Besser
27 Jul 2022, 21:20 GMT+10

ATHENS, Greece: On the weekend, the fire service in Greece was battling four major fires across the country, as over 450 people were evacuated due to surrounding fires at the island holiday resort on Lesbos.

On Lesbos, the fire approached the Vatera resort on the island's southern side, leading authorities to call for the evacuation of visitors.

Fire service spokesman Yannis Artopoios told reporters that more than five hours after an emergency message was sent by phone to residents, the evacuation was still "ongoing," adding that 50 firefighters with 17 fire engines, nine special firefighting planes and one helicopter were fighting the blaze.

Local police also said that the occupants of 92 houses were evacuated, while 60 officers were scouring the area for any residents who refused to move to safety.

Meanwhile, Greece's largest fire was burning near its northeast border with urkey at the Dadia national forest for the third consecutive day, which is made up of highly flammable pine trees.

Some 320 firefighters in 68 fire engines, as well as six special planes, nine helicopters and numerous volunteers were fighting the fire, while another 200 lumberjacks were cutting paths through the forest, the fire service said.

Artopoios stressed that two more major fires were burning over the weekend, including one in a remote mountainous area in the region of Western Macedonia, and another in the southern Peloponnese region.

This year, Greece's forest service received an additional €72 million to help maintain forests and prevent fires from spreading.

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