Zakynthos Fires Under Control, No Homes at Risk

The blazes on Zakynthos island are under control after the fires that started on Saturday afternoon destroyed thousands of acres of forest land, but no homes are at risk at present.

According to forestry experts, the fires have caused incalculable damage to the natural environment – mostly pine and olive trees – and the areas that suffered are unlikely to be rejuvenated in less than a decade.

The wildfire destroyed one home near the village of Maries, in the eastern part of the island, also known as Zante, while residents of nearby homes were on standby to evacuate, local authorities said. Animal pens and storage constructions were burned, according to local authorities.

More than 150 firefighters with 53 fire engines were operating on the island on Monday morning, assisted by five water-dropping Canadair aircraft and four helicopters, while assistance was offered by firefighting forces from nearby areas.

Arson investigators have been dispatched on the island, the Fire Service said.