EU Water Bombers Join Greek Firemen To Douse Island Wildfire
Greece deployed Thursday nearly 400 firefighters backed by EU firebombers to try to put out a massive wildfire on the island of Evia burning through a pristine pine forest for a third day
Athens, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Aug, 2019 ) :Greece deployed Thursday nearly 400 firefighters backed by EU firebombers to try to put out a massive wildfire on the island of Evia burning through a pristine pine forest for a third day.
"We are doing whatever we can to create additional fire defences near the village," Kostopoulos said as an earth mover dug a trench behind him.
The wildfire has caused inestimable damage to the local 550-hectare mountain wildlife sanctuary of Agrilitsa.
It could take another two days to extinguish the flames, a fire department spokesman told Thema radio.
"My shed was burned, there are no more trees for resin collection, so apart from my house, I have nothing else," a local resident told state TV ERT The EU's Copernicus emergency management service has calculated that at least 2,300 hectares (nearly 5,700 acres) have been lost to the fire.
Local community head Dimitris Yiannoutsos told web TV Open there was "total destruction" in the forest but admitted that with the fire still active, officials were "unable to fully estimate the extent of the damage." The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday on Greece's second-largest island, prompting the evacuation of four villages including Platana.
EU Humanitarian Commissioner Christos Stylianides on Wednesday called the mobilisation of Greek forces "exemplary" after emergency crews managed to save inhabited areas.
But no other injuries or respiratory problems that required hospitalisation have been reported.
Greece has been hit by a spate of wildfires since the weekend, fanned by gale-force winds and temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
- Climate change 'taking toll' - "Climate change is taking its toll on southern Europe and that is why it is imperative at European level to strengthen the EU rescue mechanism," Mitsotakis said Wednesday.
He paid tribute to the fire crews coping with an average of 50 forest blazes daily.
Other fires on Tuesday were contained on the island of Thassos, the central region of Viotia, and in the Peloponnese region.
On Monday, a major blaze threatening homes in Peania, an eastern suburb of Athens, was brought under control. At least two houses were burned and radio broadcast equipment was damaged on nearby Mount Ymittos.