Greece: the fight against the fires continues despite the rainfall
Sylvie Claire / August 12, 2021
Rainfall overnight in fire-ravaged areas of Greece helped improve the situation Thursday, according to a Peloponnese mayor, but hundreds of firefighters and residents were still battling to contain the fires that have been burning for two weeks.
The fire fronts are still active on the island of Evia and in Arcadia, Messinia and in the Magne, on the Peloponnese peninsula, two regions where the revivals are constant, a fire department official told AFP. A new fire broke out on Thursday morning in a brushwood area in Aspropyrgos, an industrial zone about 30 km west of Athens.
The drop in the mercury on Thursday, forecast at 33 degrees maximum according to the weather forecast, and the rain that fell overnight on Evia, the Peloponnese and central Greece helped improve the situation, said Stathis Koulis, mayor of Gortynia.
This village located in the mountainous region of Arcadia in Peloponnese is the main focus of the peninsula, where ravines make it difficult for firefighters to work. Twenty villages have been evacuated in recent days and 680 firefighters, including more than a hundred French, assisted by five water bombers, have been fighting the flames relentlessly. Faced with the scale of the fires in Greece, many countries, especially European ones, have sent more than 1,200 reinforcements, vehicles and equipment. Three people have died in the fires that have ravaged nearly 100,000 hectares in Greece since July 29, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), and caused thousands of residents to flee. In eight days, 586 fires were counted in Greece, fanned by the worst heat wave in three decades in a Mediterranean country used to high temperatures and forest fires in summer.