The devastating fires that have been raging across the north on the island of Evia in Greece continued their destructive path on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The fire front entered the town of Limni on the northwestern part of the island, causing chaos and destruction.
Among the settlements that saw the wildfires returning on Friday night were those of Metohi, Zoodochos Pigi, Kalyvia, Spathari, Troupi, Prokopi, Rovies, Marouli, Kokkinomilia, Kryoneritis, and Tsapournia.
People near the villages of Elliniko, Avgaria, Galatsona, and Monokarya were also affected by the fires, fortunately though without having to evacuate their homes.
The Dramatic Evacuation of Limni on Evia
The 112 European Emergency Number ordered the residents of the town of Limni to evacuate their properties on Friday evening, at approximately 8 o’clock local time.
More than 1,300 individuals were transferred to safety by boats.
The evacuation was conducted by sea, with unprecedented scenes being recorded in the area. Hundreds of people, from babies to incapacitated elders were taken by a ferry boat and transferred to the northeast coastal town of Aidipsos, where they stayed overnight.
Two days ago, residents watched the fire spread from the forested area in the north to the edge of the town, however, at that time the fire did not enter the town itself.
On Friday, the residents gathered at the town beach as the flames have made all nearby roads impassable, making the evacuation of the town impossible.
Fire ravages for miles on Evia, tens of settlements affected
One of the multiple fire fronts that rage across Evia returned to the coastal town of Dafni as well on Friday evening.
Dafni lies in the northwestern part of Evia, however, it is not very far from the capital of the island, Chalkida.
The fire there burnt a number of houses, the local Fire Brigade said late on Friday night.
The fire had approached Dafni several times the first time it broke out in the area, however, it was Friday when it threatened the settlement seriously.
Firefighters who had been trapped in the area because of the disruption in traffic between Limni and Agia Anna were safely evacuated, while the fire front was moving towards the community of Mourtia.
What makes the situation on Evia so difficult is that the fire has different fronts.
One is on the Aegean Sea’s side, or the east side of the island, which is a front that is moving toward Mantoudi and the nearby Kechries village, both of which have been evacuated.
The other front has returned from Strofilia and Kirinthos back to the town of Limni, while also threatening Mourtia, which is evacuated.
A third, northern front is heading from Kalamoudi and Paleochori back to Rovies, which it burned through when the fires broke out two days ago.
Tens of firefighters are at the site, battling the rekindling blazes.
Arson is taking place across Greece
A woman attempted arson in the Pedion tou Areos (Field of Ares) neighborhood of Athens twice on Friday afternoon.
The woman was arrested and is currently being interrogated by the Kypseli Police Department.
In Theologos, a tourist spot opposite to the island of Evia on the side of Greece’s mainland, a total of five attempts of arson have been made in the past few days, mayor Thanassis Zekentes said in a statement.
“It will (the fire) last for days because (Theologos) is a place with dense pine forests and unfortunately there are not enough Fire Brigade forces since they are scattered in so many other areas,” he told reporters on Friday.
Deputy Regional Governor of Elis (Ilia) in the Peloponnese Vassilis Giannopoulos believes that various fire fronts in the region are the product of a deliberate arson plan, as well.
There is no official indication about the reasons why the devastating fire on the island of Evia started as of yet.