Eight Villages Evacuated in Northern Greece Due to a Large Wildfire

by Andrew Wright
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On Saturday, authorities in Greece carried out the evacuation of eight villages situated near the northeastern border with Turkey due to a massive wildfire that raged during the summer season. The fire was further exacerbated by strong winds, making it difficult to control.

More than 130 firefighters were engaged in battling the flames, aided by 14 aircraft equipped to drop water and three helicopters. Their struggle to contain the fire necessitated additional support from other regions of the country. The wildfire initially erupted on Saturday close to the village of Melia, situated to the east of the town of Alexandroupolis.

Fortunately, there were no immediate casualties among firefighters or local residents. However, some residential properties were reported to have sustained damage in two of the villages that were evacuated.

In related developments, a section of a key highway in the affected area was temporarily shut down because of thick smoke that reduced visibility.

Officials from the European Union have pointed to climate change as the underlying cause of the increasingly frequent and severe wildfires in Europe. They highlighted that 2022 ranks as the second-most damaging year for wildfires, trailing only 2017.

Simultaneously, in the Canary Islands, Spanish authorities mandated the evacuation of thousands of Tenerife residents due to a wildfire that continued to burn uncontrollably for a fourth consecutive day.

Local residents in Alexandroupolis, Greece, were warned to keep their windows shut to avoid smoke from the wildfire.

Another less significant wildfire was reported outside Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. Meanwhile, firefighters successfully contained a fire on the western island of Cephalonia.

Authorities have issued a high alert for wildfires over the weekend.

Last month, central Greece witnessed devastating wildfires that led to the evacuation of around 20,000 tourists on the island of Rhodes. Tragically, shortly afterward, two air force pilots lost their lives when their water-dropping plane crashed as they were attempting to battle a fire on the island of Evia.

For more information on climate and environment issues, follow AP’s coverage at AP’s climate and environment page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: wildfire

Where did the large wildfire occur in Greece?

The large wildfire occurred near the northeastern border with Turkey, specifically near the village of Melia, east of the town of Alexandroupolis.

How many villages were evacuated due to the wildfire?

Eight villages near the northeastern border with Turkey were evacuated due to the large wildfire.

What resources were used to combat the wildfire?

More than 130 firefighters, assisted by 14 water-dropping planes and three helicopters, were engaged in battling the wildfire, with reinforcements sent from other parts of Greece.

Were there any casualties or damage reported?

There were no immediate reports of injuries to firefighters or residents, but some houses suffered damages in two of the evacuated villages.

What have European Union officials said about wildfires in Europe?

European Union officials have blamed climate change for the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in Europe, noting that 2022 was the second-worst year for wildfire damage on record after 2017.

Are there any other wildfires mentioned in the text?

Yes, the text mentions other wildfires, including one in Tenerife, Canary Islands, another smaller wildfire outside Thessaloniki in Greece, and previously controlled fires on the islands of Cephalonia and Rhodes.

More about fokus keyword: wildfire

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James T August 20, 2023 - 8:33 pm

Wow, this is really scary! Climate change is really taking a toll on our planet. Stay safe, Greece.

Daisy-Mae August 21, 2023 - 3:43 am

it’s about time, goverments take more action aganst climate change, or this will just keep getting worse. and worse…

TomRiddle August 21, 2023 - 8:21 am

firefighers are real heroes, no doubt about it, risking their lives for others. Respect!

kev_45 August 21, 2023 - 9:18 am

i cant believe how bad the fires have become year after year, its terrifying to see these images on the news. where does it end

Marianne_l August 21, 2023 - 12:52 pm

What’s being done to help those evacuated villages?? Anyone know? thoughts and prayers for everyone involved…

Sarah J August 21, 2023 - 5:55 pm

This is so tragic! Are the European countries doing anything together to fight these fires, they seem to be everywhre lately


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