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Greece battling forest fires.

Image Credit: AFP

On Sunday, firefighters continued its operation to contain a large forest fire that broke out on Saturday near Patras in Peloponnese, Greece’s third largest city. So far, the forest fire already destroyed around 20 homes and injured eight people. Around 300 firefighters, two water bomber planes and five helicopters have been deployed so far in an attempt to put out the fire.

Yesterday, local authorities evacuated people from five villages and eight had to go to hospital due to injuries related burns and respiratory problems caused by the fires. The tourist resort village of Loggos was also evacuated. The mayor of Aigialeias Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, referred the forest fires as an ‘immense catastrophe’.

There has not yet been an official assessment of the damage, but around 10 houses in the area of Ziria have burnt down, as well as farming sheds and animals stables, which is a lot for the residents of the region who make their living from agriculture.

Mayor of Aigialeias Dimitris Kalogeropoulos

The municipality of Aigialeias located close to Peloponnese provided emergency accomodation on Saturday for those people that had to flee their villages. A total of 30 houses in the villages of Kamares, Achaias, Labiri and Ziria were burned down. According to the civil protection agency, over the past 24 hours 58 forest fires have broken out. Most have been extinguished. As of Sunday, around 13,511 hectares of land had been burnt.

Forest fires occur every summer in Greece, but several experts pointed out that due to global warming, the intensity and frequency of such forest fires will increase. Last Friday, Greece was hit by a heatwave with temperatures ranging between 42 and 44 degrees Celsius. Such heatwaves are also currently affecting countries in Southeast Europe, such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and several other countries.

More details to follow.

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