More villages evacuated as a large wildfire in northern Greece rages for the second day

by Ryan Lee
fokus keyword: wildfire

Authorities in Greece continued to evacuate villages near the northeastern border with Turkey on Sunday as a large and destructive wildfire persisted into its second day. Over the weekend, five more villages were cleared out as the fire, fanned by strong winds, threatened the area near the town of Alexandroupolis.

Despite the ferocity of the flames, no serious injuries were reported among firefighters or residents. However, the blaze forced the evacuation of eight more villages on Saturday.

The wildfire situation has been exacerbated by powerful winds, prompting civil protection authorities to issue a warning about an “extreme” fire risk in the region surrounding Athens and other parts of southern Greece on Monday.

The efforts to combat the blaze included 200 firefighters, who were supported by 16 water-dropping aircraft, volunteers, and police officers.

Damages have been reported in some of the evacuated areas, including several outlying homes, outbuildings, and a church. Visibility problems caused by smoke led to the closure of sections of a major highway for a second consecutive day, and locals in Alexandroupolis were advised to keep their windows closed.

Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s Minister for Civil Protection, emphasized the ongoing intense battle against the fire, enlisting the support of firefighters, police, army personnel, and volunteers. He urged the public to maintain extreme vigilance and prohibited any outdoor activities that might spark additional fires, saying, “We must all protect our country.”

Meanwhile, across the border in Turkey, the border crossing at Ipsala was shut down until further notice due to the wildfires.

Greece’s struggle with destructive wildfires has become an annual challenge, with officials attributing the worsening situation to climate change. European Union authorities also acknowledge the role of climate change in increasing the frequency and intensity of such fires. The year 2022 was marked as the second-worst year for wildfire damage after 2017.

The most devastating wildfire in Greece’s history claimed 104 lives in 2018 near Athens. Since then, the approach has shifted towards caution, with prompt mass evacuation orders being issued when inhabited regions face danger.

Recent incidents include a massive wildfire on Rhodes last month that led to the evacuation of 20,000 tourists. Tragically, two air force pilots lost their lives while attempting to tackle a fire on Evia, and three other wildfire-related deaths were recorded this summer.

For continued coverage on climate and environment, readers can follow the link: https://bigbignews.net/climate-and-environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: wildfire

Where is the large wildfire occurring in Greece?

The wildfire is raging near the northeastern border with Turkey, specifically near the town of Alexandroupolis.

How many firefighters are involved in battling the blaze?

200 firefighters are involved, assisted by 16 water-dropping aircraft, volunteers, and police.

What has been damaged by the fire?

The fire has badly damaged about half a dozen outlying houses and outbuildings in two of the evacuated villages, as well as a church.

Have there been any serious injuries or fatalities?

There have been no reports of serious injuries to firefighters or residents from this particular forest blaze.

What measures are being taken by the Greek authorities?

The authorities are evacuating villages, deploying firefighters and aircraft, and issuing warnings of “extreme” fire risk in various regions. The minister for civil protection has also called for public vigilance and prohibited outdoor work that might cause a fire.

What has been the impact on neighboring Turkey?

The governor of Erdine province in Turkey declared that the border crossing at Ipsala has been closed until further notice due to the fires.

How are these wildfires related to climate change?

Officials in Greece, as well as European Union authorities, have linked the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires to climate change. The situation in 2022 has been marked as the second-worst year for wildfire damage on record after 2017.

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firefighter87 August 21, 2023 - 12:07 am

omg, these wildfires r sooo scary! those firefighters r like real heroes, fightin’ 24/7. hope ppl stay safe n listen 2 evacuation orders.

naturelover23 August 21, 2023 - 2:08 pm

greece’s beauty gettin’ destroyed, it’s heartbreakin’. climate change’s impact is no joke. we gotta do smth abt it ASAP!

concernedcitizen August 21, 2023 - 5:51 pm

thx 4 the updates, keepin’ us informed. hope those affected find support. climate change’s consequences can’t b ignored any longer.


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