Greek Island of Evia Battles Wildfires for a Third Day



Enforced firefighting teams worked through the night on Wednesday to put out rekindled fire pockets and to restrict a larger one in a deep ravine in central Evia, relentlessly fighting a blaze that broke out in dense pine forest early on Tuesday morning.

By Thursday morning, the fire was contained again in the ravine.

The fire front near Platania burned in a deep ravine that on Wednesday made approach by air difficult, as did strong winds and dense smoke.

Residents of Platania have been evacuated from the village, and a fire zone created with the help of heavy earthmoving machinery called to the area from local governments, the army and Larco private company.

A similar zone had been created on Tuesday night around Psahna, a town south of the forest fire and its several fronts that led to four evacuations including Platanias.

At other areas in central Evia, authorities focused on putting out rekindled fronts.

According to the Fire Brigade, there are currently in central Evia 198 firefighters with 92 trucks, 12 firefighters with 6 trucks form the Brigade’s special forces, and 22 units of a total of 172 firefighters on foot. They are coordinated by the mobile operations center “Olympos”.

They are assisted by 2 army foot units, 8 large machinery and 10 water trucks from the region and local government, the Forestry Servcie, the emergency ambulance service (EKAV), 38 volunteer firefighters and 5 volunteer fire trucks.

Several agencies were quoted as saying that although it’s too early for a damage assessment, the Natura-included pine forest has been completely destroyed. The burnt area is estimated at between 2,000 and 2,800 hectares of land (20,000-28,000 stremmas).

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid a visit to the area on Wednesday, where the Citizen Protection Minister and the Secretary General of Civil Protection are coordinating efforts with the assistance also of local governments and the Interior Minister.

Source: AMNA