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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsFires Blaze in Lamia and Velestino in Greece

Fires Blaze in Lamia and Velestino in Greece

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Fires have been reported in mainland Greece in Lamia and Velestino. Credit: Amna

Fires are reportedly burning in the city of Lamia and the town of Velestino, both situated in mainland Greece. The news of further fires comes amid continued efforts to prevent further damage and destruction from wildfires on Greek islands like Corfu and Rhodes.

Tragically, a woman’s charred remains were discovered inside a caravan in Horostasi Magnesia. Additionally, in the vicinity of Agios Georgios Magnesia, the 45-year-old livestock farmer, who had previously gone missing, was also found burnt to death.

Lamia is the capital city of the regional unit of Phthiotis and of the Central Greece region, comprising five regional units; Velestino is a town in the Magnesia regional unit of Thessaly.

The current situation in Greece has been influenced by a heatwave sweeping across southern Europe and northern Africa, leading to dry and arid conditions. This extreme weather has provided the perfect conditions for wildfires to ignite and spread in various regions.

The fire in Lamia

At 15:10 local time, a fire broke out on the north side of Lamia, originating in a forested area with sparse vegetation.

Fueled by strong winds, the fire rapidly expanded in size. Its eastern front threatened nearby houses, while it also spread westward into the pine-covered region near the Castle of Lamia.

According to the local media, the initial flames originated from an area adjacent to the stadium and rapidly spread, fueled by strong south-easterly winds, extending towards nearby houses. A warehouse located at the junction of Sarantaporos and Bizaniou streets has reportedly been completely consumed by the fire.

As a precautionary measure, authorities promptly initiated the evacuation of houses in the Afanou area of Lamia. Simultaneously, two PZLs were dispatched from Lamia Airport to assist in tackling the fire.

Simultaneously, police patrol cars and municipal vehicles were dispatched to alert the residents of Nea Magnesia, especially those living close to the rural region, to evacuate and seek safer locations. As a precautionary measure, six farmhouses housing domestic animals were already evacuated, as the approaching flames posed an imminent threat.

The fire in Velestino

Also on Wednesday, a fire reportedly started at midday in an agroforestry area in Velestino, Magnesia. The Fire Department responded swiftly, leading to a large-scale mobilization. As a precautionary measure, residents had already evacuated from Sesklo, Dimini, Paliouri, and the Industrial Area of Volos.

Conditions were challenging due to the relentless strong winds in the region, and the flames had reached homes, exacerbating the situation. On the ground, 33 firefighters and 13 vehicles were diligently working to contain the fire, while two helicopters conducted airdrops to support their efforts. As the early afternoon approached, the deployment of ground firefighting equipment was increased to reinforce the firefighting operation.

Dimitris Pallikaris, the deputy mayor for Civil Protection of the Riga Feraio municipality, reported that in the afternoon, the first houses on the outskirts and perimeter of Velestinos were evacuated. The residents were safely driven to the city center to ensure their well-being.

The fires that struck Lamia and the broader region of Magnesia have resulted in tragic fatalities. As previously mentioned, the remains of a woman were found charred inside a caravan in Horostasi Magnesia. Moreover, in the vicinity of Agios Georgios Magnesia, the 45-year-old livestock farmer, who had been reported missing, was also discovered deceased due to burns

During the firefighting operation, a firefighter suffered serious second-degree burns on his hands, legs, face, and back. He was promptly taken to the Velestino Health Center for immediate medical attention. The medical team is currently working to stabilize his condition, after which he will be transferred to a hospital in Athens. It is noteworthy that the injured firefighter had been serving in Katerini and was actively assisting his colleagues in battling the fire in Velestino.

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