A large fire broke out at 3 am local time on Tuesday on Greece’s central Evia (Euboea).
The fire burns a thick forest with rich wildlife and it is protected by the European Union’s Natura 2000 network.
The fire is located in the area of Agrilitsa, between Kontodespoti and Makrymalli villages. The entire area belongs administratively to the Municipality of Dirfys – Messapia.
A huge operation by the Fire Service is underway, with a total of 211 fire fighters, and 69 vehicles being on site.
Αναλυτικά οι επίγειες δυνάμεις: 139 πυροσβέστες με 67 οχήματα, 7 ομάδες πεζοπόρων με 72 πυροσβέστες & 6 οχήματα με 12 #πυροσβέστες Μ.Ε.Τ.Π.Ε.. Συνδράμουν 2 ομάδες πεζοπόρων τμημάτων του Ε.Σ.,8 μηχανήματα έργου καθώς και 10 υδροφόρες της Περιφέρειας και των ΟΤΑ.
— Πυροσβεστικό Σώμα (@pyrosvestiki) August 13, 2019
Seven hiking unites of the Fire Service, comprised of tens of additional fire fighters, along with six aircraft and five helicopters are in the area, assisting the efforts to extinguish the large fire.
Volunteers and members of the local communities are also there.
The Greek authorities have already ordered the evacuation of the Monastery of Panagia Makrymallis (Virgin Mary of Makrymalli).
The residents of the villages of Makrymalli, Agrilitsa, Stavros and Kontodespoti are on alert in case an evacuation is needed. They were all advised to gather at the center of their villages and be ready to leave, in case this is necessary.
Η πυρκαγιά στην Εύβοια μαίνεται ανεξέλεγκτη. Αεροφωτογραφία το πρωί της Τρίτης 13/08.
Ambulances of Greece’s EKAB emergency service are also on site to assist those with respiratory issues.
The remote location where the fire burns, along with thick smoke and very strong winds are hindering the efforts of the fire fighters.
Smoke has also reached areas in Attica, Fthiotis and Magnesia too. Many parts of the Greek capital are now under a thick cloud of smoke, coming from Evia’s fire.
For this reason, the authorities now advise people in Athens with respiratory problems to stay indoors and shut their windows.