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Wildfires rage on Greek islands

- by Jeremy Guest

Wildfires rage on Greek islands.

As temperatures have soared in Greece, the hot summer weather has sparked wildfires on several Greek islands this year. Hardest hit have been forest areas on Zakynthos where wildfires have been ravaging the countryside all week since July 10. The worst outbreak was in the northern region of Volimes, where the fire spread rapidly because of strong winds.

A fire was was reported in the forest area just to the south of Volimes in the region of Orthonies.

A helicopter, three fire planes and the island firefighters have been in operation to extinguish the fires.

On Sunday, July 10, firefighters managed to put out another fire in the region of Nerantzoules, near the Argassi holiday resort on the southeast coast.

A fire in the region of Istiaia, which also broke out on July 10th, caused a great deal of damage and thousands of olive trees were destroyed as well as part of the pine forest.

The possibility of arson has not been excluded, as all the fires broke out at roughly the same time in remote forest areas and at a time when there were no strong winds.

Wildfires have also broke out at a mountainous area in the north part of Evia, Greece. Fire crews, backed by helicopters, and five water-planes prevented flames from spreading to the nearby towns.

Fanned by strong winds the fire is threatening the villages of Agios, Varvara and the town of Aidipsos.

A state of emergency was declared in the area, but no casualties have been reported. Olive groves and a small forest outside the village of Varvara, were torched.

The fire outbreaks took the total to 75 wildfires reported across Greece in a span of 24 hours. The National Meteorological Service forecast temperatures of 39°C on the mainland this week and more than 30°C in many of the Greek islands.