Wildfire rages on Greek island of Evia, blanketing villages with smoke

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2019

The blaze on the island of Evia was burning through a nature reserve in a thick pine forest where access by land was hard.

More than 227 firemen, aided by five helicopters and six other aircraft, were battling the blaze on Evia, Greece's second-largest island.

Greek authorities on Tuesday afternoon announced that a fourth village, Platania, was evacuated in central Evia as a forest fire that broke out early in the day was ranging south out of control. By some accounts, the wall of flames was 11 kilometers long, fanned by strong, interchanging winds.

A monastery was evacuated and the residents of three villages were told to be ready to leave after a big fire broke out inside firestland in central Evia early Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was also monitoring the situation from the Fire Brigade's Operation Center in Halandri, Athens.

"The conditions today are exceptionally hard, and the primary concern of the state is and will be the protection of lives and by extension of property", Mitsotakis said. Environmental campaigners see increased wildfires around the world as a worrying symptom of global warming.

Last year, a wildfire killed 100 people in the seaside town of Mati near Athens, and in 2007 fires killed 65, scorched thousands of hectares of forest and farmland and threatened archaeological sites.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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