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157 Forest Fires Broke Out in Greece in Three Days

Greece’s Fire Brigate warns of fire hazards due to intense lightning activity and electrical storms this week. Credit: AMNA

A total of 157 forest fires were recorded in Greece over the last three days with 54 of them breaking out in the last 24 hours, said Giannis Artopios, the Fire Brigade’s spokesperson, at a press briefing on Monday.

The news briefing was held following the summer season’s first significant fires that broke out in Attica, at Ano Glyfada on Saturday, and at Spata-Loutsa on Monday.

Due to a spell of rainy, stormy weather forecast for this week, the fire brigade is on high alert for intense lightning activity and electrical storms, which in many cases can spark forest fires, Artopios noted.

Forest fire breaks out in Greece’s Corinthia

On Monday, firefighters were battling to contain a wildfire that broke out in Perachora in the Corinthia regional unit.

Some 45 firefighters with fourteen fire engines and two ground teams were assisted by two water-bombing aircraft and two helicopters.

Early reports said the fire was started by a lightning bolt.

A wildfire that broke out earlier on Monday in low-growing vegetation at the municipality of Spata-Loutsa has been contained, said the Fire Brigade.

It broke out shortly before 12:30 pm at the junction of Makedonomachon and Nikitara streets near a residential area.

Some 42 firefighters and one ground team with sixteen fire engines, two water-bombing aircraft, one helicopter, and municipal water tanks operated to contain the blaze.

Road traffic at Spata-Loutsa has been restored.

EU deploys 200 firefighters to Greece

More than 200 firefighters and technical equipment provided by European Union countries will soon be deployed to Greece to allow for a swift response to large wildfires.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said last week that Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Romania, and Norway will take part in the initiative coordinated by the bloc’s Civil Protection Mechanism.

“It is clear that we are facing a global weather change, and that requires us Europeans to respond jointly,” Janez Lenarcic, the commissioner for crisis management, said.

“In August 2021, Greece witnessed about 65 simultaneous forest fires per day with average temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, [or 104 degrees Fahrenheit],” it was said.

Last year’s wildfires stretched Greece’s firefighting capacities to the limit, leading the Mediterranean nation’s government to appeal for international help.

About 24 European and Middle Eastern countries responded, sending planes, helicopters, vehicles, and hundreds of firefighters.

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