Greece’s nature may suffer innumerable disasters this summer season, since the country’s Fire Department is not operating properly.
According to Greek newspaper “Ta Nea,” several fire trucks are currently immobilized because they are lacking tires and spare parts. Furthermore, aircraft are all very old, therefore they are grounded, while the Department also faces shortages in basic equipment.
The shortages are caused by drastic reductions in funding to the Department due to budgetary constraints.
The Department is also understaffed and firefighters are forced to work overtime and over the weekends to meet the Department’s needs.
The Fire Department warns that winter rains have contributed to the increase of vegetation in forests, which inevitably dries over the summer, turning into an excellent fuel for fires. According to data released by the Fire Department, since the first quarter of 2015, fires have increased by 55.4% compared to the same period last year, mainly due to vegetation.
The majority of forest fires, as shown by the statistics, occur due to arson by negligence.
Two fires have already broken out in the Peloponnese, resulting in 6 hectares of burnt woodland and 2 hectares of burnt olive trees. A fire also occurred in Attica on Saturday, June 13.