Greece further reinforces firefighting forces in massive wildfire in northeast burning for 13th day

ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities further strengthened firefighting forces in the nation’s northeast Thursday, the place a massive blaze in its thirteenth day has flared up as soon as extra, triggering authorities to challenge alerts to residents in the realm to be on standby for doable evacuation.

More than 100 additional firefighters have been deployed, bringing the overall to 582, backed by a fleet of 10 planes and 7 helicopters from 9 European international locations, the hearth division mentioned. The fireplace that began Aug. 19 has decimated houses and huge tracts of forest in the Alexandroupolis and Evros area, close to Greece’s border with Turkey. It has been blamed for 20 of final week’s 21 wildfire-related deaths in Greece.

Several different folks, together with the two-member crew of a firefighting aircraft, have misplaced their lives in wildfires to date this 12 months in Greece. Lawmakers held a minute of silence initially of a parliamentary debate on the fires and the state response Wednesday morning.

The causes for the nation’s main blazes this 12 months are beneath investigation by fireplace division officers and the intelligence companies.

For a few of the small blazes, deliberate arson has been suspected and several other folks have been arrested, whereas there have additionally been dozens of arrests for negligence inflicting fires.

Since the Alexandroupolis and Evros fireplace started, evacuation orders have been issued for 1000’s of individuals in villages and from the primary hospital in the town of Alexandroupolis, with the overwhelming majority allowed again as soon as the hazard had handed.

Overnight, residents of two villages close to the border with Turkey and close to a wildlife sanctuary have been placed on alert for potential evacuation as one of many fireplace fronts flared up.

The blaze, now burning deep in the forest in the Dadia nationwide park, is the biggest single wildfire recorded in the European Union because the European Forest Fire Information System began protecting data in 2000.

With no indicators of abating, the hearth had burned greater than 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of land by Tuesday, in accordance with the European Union’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service, the EU house program’s Earth statement element and makes use of satellite tv for pc imagery to supply mapping knowledge.

Greece has been tormented by tons of of wildfires throughout the nation this summer season, with dozens of latest blazes breaking out every day. The overwhelming majority are extinguished rapidly earlier than they unfold. In the 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday night, firefighters have been tackling 81 fires in Greece, together with 47 that had damaged out inside that timeframe, the hearth division mentioned.

Seeing its firefighting forces stretched to the restrict, Greece referred to as on different European international locations for assist. Hundreds of firefighters from Romania, France, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Albania, Slovakia and Serbia have helped battle the blazes, together with 12 plane from Germany, Sweden, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France and Spain.

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