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New Blaze Breaks Out on Fire-Stricken Evia Island in Greece

Evia fire
Evia has been devastated by fires throughout August 2021. Credit: Greek Reporter/Konstantinos-Balalas

A new fire broke out late on Sunday on the fire-ravaged island of Evia in central Greece. This time, the blaze is in the southern part of the island near the town of Styra and Marmari which have been evacuated.

According to the Fire Service, 46 firefighters are currently on the scene with 20 vehicles, while three aircraft and two helicopters are assisting from the air to extinguish the fire.

The planes face great difficulties due to the strong winds, said Fanis Spanos, Regional Governor of Central Greece.

“The situation is very difficult as the fire front is big and the winds are very strong,” he said. The fire-fighting planes cannot operate under these condition he noted and called on all the residents in nearby villages to evacuate towards the south or leave by sea.

According to the Shipping Ministry, a port lifeguard, a private boat and two passenger ships are on immediate alert at Marmari to provide assistance if required.

Evia has been particularly hard-hit by the fires in Greece this summer. The environmental devastation from the fires in northern Evia is enormous, according to the meteorological service of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA).

According to the NOA, a total of 126,023 acres (51,000 hectares or 510,000 stremmata) has been burned on the island.

Parts of Greece in high risk of fires

Meanwhile, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection has announced a Very High Risk (Category 4) of fire for many more areas in Greece on Monday, August 23, 2021.

More specifically for the following areas:

– Attica Region (including the island of Kythera)

– Peloponnese Region (Corinth, Argolida, Laconia)

– North Aegean Region (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria)

– Region of Crete

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection, as it stated in an announcement, “has informed the competent state services involved, as well as the regions and municipalities of the above mentioned areas, so that they are on increased civil protection readiness in order to immediately deal with any incidents of fire.”

Hundreds of fires hit Greece

Since the beginning of August, hundreds of wildfires have been burning in Greece in the wake of the country’s worst heat wave in the last few decades that left shrubland and forests parched.

Hundreds of blazes in the wider Athens region, the Peloponnese peninsula and Evia island among others decimated more than 100,000 hectares of forestry and farmland, said the European Forest Fire Information System.

One person died during their firefighting efforts and thousands of animals perished as a result of the disaster, according to the latest official count. More than 1,700 houses, businesses and other buildings have been damaged by the wildfires, the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport said Friday.

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