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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsRisk of Fires Elevated in Greece Due to Blistering Winds, Heatwave

Risk of Fires Elevated in Greece Due to Blistering Winds, Heatwave

winds fire Greece
The ferry is seen “battling” with the waves as it sails toward the Cyclades. Video screenshot

Authorities in Greece issued warnings of fires this weekend as the country is experiencing blistering winds and high temperatures.

As seen in the video, the Sifnos Jet ferry is struggling to maintain the course as it sails full of passengers in the Aegean.

On Saturday, the General Secretariat of Civil Protection warned that the continuing heatwave combined with strong winds will greatly increase the risk of fire in five regions of Greece.

The areas more at risk are the North Aegean (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria), Attica (including the island of Kythira), Central Greece (Viotia, Evia), the Peloponnese and Western Greece (Ilia, Achaia).

The Secretariat calls on citizens to avoid any open-air activities that can cause a fire due to negligence. These include activities such as the burning of dry grass or branches, the use of machinery that create sparks, such as circular saws or welding devices, the use of bee smokers, and the disposing of lit cigarettes. Individuals should also be cautious while grilling outdoors.

European aid arrives in Greece to prevent fires

On Friday, Greece welcomed the first contingent of a total of 200 EU firefighters who began their mission to assist the work of their Greek colleagues during the summer firefighting season.

The Romanian contingent, which was the first foreign unit to arrive is comprised of 28 firefighters and five vehicles. The contingent will remain in Athens until the end of July. On August 1st, they will be replaced by 25 French firefighters with four tenders and three auxiliary vehicles.

Other units, from Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, and Finland will be based in Larissa and Tripoli during July and August.

Greece is bracing for the fire season hoping to avoid a repeat of 2021 when it was hit by some of the most devastating fires in recent history in the northern part of the island of Evia and in West Attica.

The new fire season began on May 1st and will last through to the end of October 31st. The New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which in 2021 admitted to  shortcomings in dealing with hundreds of fires spontaneously across the country, is stepping up preparations.

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