A fire-fighting plane crashed in Greece while battling a blaze on the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos on Sunday. The pilot was rescued from the crash by firefighters at the scene and is in good condition.
The plane was sent with another fighter jet to help fend off the fire on the island of Zakynthos. Twenty-four firefighters with seven vehicles are currently working in the area. The General Staff of Aviation released a statement on the crash.
“In the afternoon of Sunday, August 8, 2021, a PZL aircraft from the Ladder of the 359th Air Service Squadron of Public Services in Kefalonia, crashed during aerial firefighting in the area of Macherado, Zakynthos. The pilot is in good health, while a Super Puma helicopter transports him, for precautionary reasons, to the 251st General Aviation Hospital. The causes of the accident are being investigated.”
Fires Rage in Greece
Sunday found Greece fighting for the fifth consecutive day with tens of fires across the country.
Thousands of Greek firefighters , as well as some from other European nations and Israel, continue their efforts to put out the wildfires that have caused unprecedented damage throughout Greece.
Greece faced a total of 154 fires throughout the country the past weekend, Deputy Civil Protection Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said.
The largest of all have damaged hundreds of homes in many northern suburbs of Athens, the island of Evia, the Peloponnese, and elsewhere.
The fire front entered the town of Limni on the northwestern part of Evia, 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.
By Sunday night the fire had reached the town of Pefki.
North Attica, the Epicenter since Tuesday
In the area of Varympompi in Athens, the largest fire of all, more than 100 rekindled fire pockets were recorded between Wednesday and Friday night.
Burning on Mt. Parnitha, the fire remained out of control on Thursday, Friday, and the night onto Saturday morning.
It was blazing through the areas of Drosopigi and Kryoneri on Thursday evening, spreading north and east, a situation that continued all the way until Saturday morning.
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.