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Volunteer Fireman Dies After Motorbike Accident While Fighting Fire

Greece Fires
Greece is dealing with multiple severe fires across the country. Credit: Greek Reporter

A volunteer fireman who rushed out to fight the fires in Ippokrateios Politeia, a northern suburb of Athens, was killed on Friday.

The 38-year-old man is the first person to pass away as the result of fighting the fires, which now number almost 100 across the country. He passed away from an accident he suffered on his motorcycle while rushing to help fighting the fire.

The young man, a volunteer firefighter, was taken to the hospital after suffering severe head injuries after the accident on Friday. Tragically, he later passed away.

Professional and volunteer firefighters, civilians injured in fires

One professional firefighter, four volunteer firefighters (not including the man who later passed away) and five civilians were taken to hospitals on Thursday evening in Greece as the country continued to fight for the fourth consecutive day against wildfires on multiple fronts.

The firefighter, who was injured in the battle against the ongoing fire at Kryoneri in north Attica, is now hospitalized at the 251 Air Force General Hospital.

Two of the volunteer firefighters have been admitted to an ICU unit due to the severity of their injuries. Fortunately, the two other volunteers who were injured did not need any intensive treatment.

The five civilians who had to be rushed to a hospital were being treated at the KAT hospital in Athens. Three of these came from the north Attica area of Drossopigi, and two from the area of Kryoneri.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias has ordered that Sismanogleio Hospital in Athens stays on rolling duty, and the same was ordered for the Burns & Plastic Surgery Clinic at KAT hospital.

Two paramedic motorcycles, one mobile medical unit, and seven ambulances of the National Emergency Response Ambulance Service of Greece (EKAB) remained on standby in north Attica overnight.

The Ippokratio, Erythros Stavros (Red Cross) and Thriasio hospitals of Athens were also all on rolling duty in Attica in the evening and overnight Thursday.

99 new fires in Greece

A total of 99 new fires broke out across the country on Thursday, while the Fire Brigade attended to a total of 145 fires in the 24-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said during an emergency briefing late on Thursday evening.

For this reason, the Greek government imposed restrictions on free passage through forests, groves, and parks.

Any travel, stay, or driving through forests, national parks, Natura registered areas, and other forested areas is now forbidden until Monday, August 9, throughout Greece.

The emergency legal act includes a ban on any activity that may lead to a fire, such as welding, burning of flammable material, and other such activities.

Fines are €1,000 for the first violation and €10,000 for the second, besides incurring criminal penalties.

Attica

In the area of Varympompi in Athens, the largest fire of all, a total of 95 rekindled fire pockets were recorded since Tuesday, with 12 new ones occurring on Thursday.

Burning on Mt. Parnitha, the fire remained out of control overnight and was blazing through the areas of Drosopigi and Kryoneri on Thursday evening, spreading north and east.

The towns of Polydendri, Kapandriti, Ippokrateios Politeia (State of Hippocrates), Kryoneri, Kokkinovraxos, Afidnes, and Drossopigi were evacuated and thousands of people had to rush either towards downtown Athens or other coastal areas to find safe refuge.

The national highway that connects Athens with Lamia and therefore central and northern Greece remained blocked off overnight, as the fire engulfed both sides of the road.

The railway line between Athens and Thessaloniki has also been closed.

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