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Greece Fires: Evia, Arcadia Continue to Battle Huge Blazes

Greece fires
Firefighters taking a break on Evia. Credit Greek Reporter

The fires that have been burning in various parts of Greece have continued their destructive path for an incredible ninth consecutive day.

The epicenter of the problem was focused in Arcadia, in the central Peloponnesian Peninsula, and some parts of the north of Evia island, where fires persisted.

The situation on Evia remains critical

Evia fire
Residents and firefighters fight the blaze at the village of Kamatriades on Evia island in Greece, in the first hours of Wednesday, August 11. Credit: Konstantinos Balalas / Greek Reporter

Several incidents of fires rekindling took place near the villages or areas of Asminio, Avgaria, Galatsona, Gerakiou, Panagia Dinius, Simia, Agrivotano, Ellinika, and Agios Nikolaos.

Both firefighters from Greece and abroad as well as volunteers and residents kept fighting overnight to contain the newly-created fires.

Fortunately, the situation near Asminio, which had been evacuated on Tuesday afternoon, is much better now.

The situation near the monastery of Panagia Dinius is a bit more worrying with firefighters trying to contain the blaze there.

The area between Galatsona and Avgaria is where the most rekindling incidents took place on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

Large numbers of firefighters from around Europe remain in that area.

Following another rekindling that took place on Tuesday near the village of Agriovotano, the fires reached the coast, destroying everything until they reached the sea.

The situation near Psaropouli and Ellinika remained critical throughout the night, however, the fire front was located inside a mountain gorge, making it difficult for the firefighters to reach it and put it out.

Emphasis was put on the front between the villages of Kastri and Gouves as well as the coastal area between Paleokastro and Vouliki, There, both firefighters and volunteers managed to contain the fire, preventing it from entering any villages.

Around Kamatriades, the fire breaks that have been constructed by professionals and volunteers have averted the worst; however, the danger in Kamatriades remains high, mainly due to repeated incidents of rekindling.

Greece Fires: Arcadia Battles With Flames

The most dangerous front overnight and into Wednesday morning was that around the broader area of Gortynia, in Arcadia.

Firefighters, who are primarily Greek, Czech, and British, had to deal with scores of rekindlings, something that could make the situation very dangerous due to the fact that no firefighting aircraft are allowed to operate overnight.

The airborne mission to put out the flames began again on Wednesday morning, which firefighting aircraft, assisted by forces on land, battled to contain the flames near Fanaraki, Kalliani, and Kastraki.

Meanwhile, residents who had remained against orders in the villages which had been evacuated since yesterday afternoon, were carrying out continuous patrols in order to locate outbreaks of fire.

The main front of the fire was around inaccessible places in the villages of Fanaraki, Kastraki, Pyrri, Loti, Liodora, Chrysochori, and Dafne.

The fire has damaged homes, crops, warehouses, sheepfolds, and farmhouses, while power and water supply outages have been occurring for days.

Greece Pledges Billions in Aid for Fire Victims

Greek authorities in Athens announced details regarding aid for fire victims on Tuesday afternoon.

A total of 500 million euros has been allocated for aid to those who have lost their homes, possessions, and businesses in the catastrophic fires that have plagued Greece for almost 10 days now.

Those who have lost their homes will receive payments of up to €150,000 ($175,750), yet the state will also provide advance payments to fire victims depending on the level of damage their houses have suffered.

For those whose property has been completely destroyed, the State will provide an immediate payment of €20,000 ($23,500).

For those properties with extensive damage that can still be repaired or restored, the State will provide a handout of €12,000 ($14,052).

For minor damage, people will be able to claim an advance payment of €8,000 ($9,369).

Additionally, the Greek state will help those who have lost their homes in covering the cost of their rent once they have found a place to stay.

Over 16 billion euros will be invested from now until 2027 in supporting Greece’s natural environment and fighting climate change.

A total of 224 million euros will be invested into the reforestation effort alone, while over one billion euros will be used to promote biodiversity and reforestation in areas that have been destroyed by the fire.

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