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New Fires Break Out in Greece, Arcadia Remains on High Alert

Greece fires
Volunteers and residents in Kamatriades, Evia Island. Credit: Konstantinos Balalas / Greek Reporter

The fires that broke out a week ago in the broader area of Arcadia in southern Greece continued their destructive path on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

The biggest problem remains around the area of Gortynia, where a large number of firefighters, both from Greece and abroad, continually fought to contain the flames.

Greece Fires: The Main Problem Remains in Arcadia

Their efforts were for the most part successful, as they managed to keep the blaze away from urban areas.

Large fire breaks have also been constructed on Mount Mainalo, to prevent the flames from spreading in the forested area there.

Mainalo is the tallest mountain of the Peloponnesian peninsula, reaching a height of 1,981 meters (6,499 feet).

Thousands of residents in villages and towns around the area stayed awake at night to assist the work of the fire fighting units, each one trying to protect his own property or the properties of neighbors.

As soon as the sun rose, firefighting aircraft and helicopters started their operations. The fact that helicopters can take water from the nearby river Ladon allows them to operate multiple flights in a short period of time.

Large numbers of firefighting crews remain on alert in the nearby regional unit of Elis (Ilia).

Men and women are trying to stop the blaze from crossing the border between Arcadia and Elis,which that would put Ancient Olympia in danger once again.

The firefighters have created a ”protective zone” of units between the municipalities of Ancient Olympia and Andritsaina–Krestena.

New Blazes in Attica

At 1:20 AM on Thursday morning a fire broke out in the south Athenian suburb of Vari.

The blaze started from an abandoned farm. The mayor of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni Gregoris Constantellos told Greece’s Skai TV on Thursday morning that due to very strong winds the blaze spread rapidly and burned almost the entire 15 acres of the property.

A total of six fire trucks and ten additional vehicles of the Civil Protection fought and managed to contain the blaze overnight.

This led the authorities to the decision not to evacuate the urban areas near the farm.

The municipality now remains on high alert with dozens of people patrolling the area.

Another blaze broke out in Aspropyrgos, Attica overnight.

A large number of firefighters rushed to the scene and managed to contain the blaze before it could grow any larger.

For a few hours, traffic along the Attiki Odos and NATO avenue was forbidden for safety reasons.

Additionally, six more locations in the greater region of Mandra and Porto Germeno, west of Athens, burst into flames late on Wednesday. According to officials, these fires occurreddue to lightning. The fire brigade managed to put the flames out with 40 firefighters, 12 fire trucks, 2 ground teams, and two helicopters.

Forest Fire Breaks Out in Halkidiki, Northern Greece

Another blaze started in the early hours of Thursday in the region of Fourka, Cassandra, in Halkidiki, the most popular tourist destination of Central Macedonia and northern Greece.

A total of 50 firefighters with 25 vehicles were operating overnight, making sure that no residential areas would be threatened.

Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, a Halkidiki native himself, happened to be in the area and posted a tweet.
Greece fires

”Respect and gratitude to those who fight with the flames and save lives throughout Greece,” the EU official stated.

Evia Fires Rekindle, but Situation Improving

Fires rekindled along the coast of northern Evia, from Agia Anna to Agriovotano on Wednesday evening.

The village of Kamatriades has been the focus of firefighters from Greece and abroad since Wednesday, as the flames in a ravine threatened the nearby Telethrio oak forest.

From there, the fire could spread to the coastal resort of Aidipsos and Orei, further north, a devastating scenario for the broader area.

Firefighters faced water pumping problems on Wednesday because several villages have lost electricity.

A tanker arrived on Wednesday afternoon at the Psaropouli waterfront, carrying water to fill water trucks so they could, in turn, fill fire trucks.

Hundreds of members of the Greek Army and the Hellenic Air Force arrived in the area around noon on Wednesday and have been helping put out smaller pockets of fire since.

 

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