Despite all efforts, the fires that burned hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Greece continued yesterday. The country was surrounded by flames. Significant forest fires continued yesterday in the town of Varimpopi, 20 kilometers from the capital Athens, the island of Euboea, 60 kilometers away, and in the Ilia region of the Peloponnese peninsula south of the country. A forest fire broke out last night on the island of Crete.
FLAMES CROSS THE ROAD
The fire, brought under control on Wednesday in Varimpopi, but restarted on Thursday, spread to an area of 15 km in a short time under the effect of the wind. Despite all the firefighters’ precautions, the flames crossed the Athens-Thessaloniki highway, the country’s largest transport network, and spread to the overcrowded neighborhoods of Krioneri, Ayios Stefanos, Kapandriti and Afidnes. A firefighter died when he fell on a lamppost in Varimpopi. In the same fire, the Marathon Dam, which supplies a small part of Athens’ water needs, also burst into flames. The Greek government has announced that 600 euros each for their emergency needs and at least 6,000 euros for repair work will be given to those whose homes have been burnt down in the fires.
THE POLICE FORCED TO REMOVE
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All the settlements in the region were evacuated due to the flames. The police forcibly evicted some citizens who did not want to leave their homes. The noise caused by the explosion of more than 100 vehicles with the fire of a large automobile gallery in the district of Afidnes caused great panic among the inhabitants of the district who were trying to escape from the fire.
LIFE WALK ON THE BEACHES
On the island of Evia, 631 people who fled in panic from the settlements threatened by flames and gathered on the beach were evacuated by Greek coastguard boats and fishing boats. In the island fire, 250,000 acres of land were destroyed until last night. In the Ilia region, firefighters mobilized to stop the flames as they approached the town of Olimpia, where the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece were held.
HELP FROM THE WORLD
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Greek Deputy Minister of Civil Defense Nikos Hardalias announced that help would come from France (2 planes, 83 firefighters), Sweden (2 planes), Switzerland (3 helicopters), Israel (16 firefighters) and from Romania (112 firefighters, 23 fire engines). The United States has announced that it will send the Navy’s P-8 type maritime surveillance aircraft to Greece. The ministry also decided to lease a second aircraft of the same type as the “Beriev 200” type firefighting aircraft leased from Russia.
“OLD AIRCRAFT” COMMENTARY
Greece has ordered 8 new planes in addition to its 38-40 firefighter fleet, mostly older planes and helicopters. Speaking to Greek TV Skai, aviation engineer Fedon Karaiosifidis said some planes are 50 years old and said: “The market for firefighting planes is very small. The manufacturer company can manufacture 1 or 1.5 aircraft per year. We will need 2030 to buy 8 planes.
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MİÇOTAKIS: AN UNMATCHED SITUATION
Prime Minister of GREECE Kiriakos Mitsotakis said they are facing unprecedented conditions due to the heat wave in the country. Speaking to the public Thursday evening, Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis said: “Our priority is always the protection of human life, as well as the protection of property, natural life and critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, under these conditions, it is not possible to achieve all of these goals at the same time. “Wildfires are a reality of climate change,” he said.
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“BIG GOOD LUCK” FROM TURKEY
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias and told him about Turkey’s wishes for a speedy recovery. Çavuşoğlu expressed Turkey’s solidarity with the fires in Greece. In the statement on the Greek Foreign Ministry’s social media account, “The two ministers said the two countries are ready to help each other put out the fires, provided that the fires in their own country are first mastered “.
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CALIFORNIA BURNS FOR THREE WEEKS
The fires in the US state of California are being brought under control with 50 planes.
The Dixie Fire, which has been effective for 23 days in the state of CALIFORNIA, burned more than 100 homes in less than 48 hours. The sheriff of the Plumas district, the most affected by the flames, warned the population that they were in danger and that they “must immediately leave their homes”.
THIS CITY IS ASH
Unlike in the previous year, no loss of life was considered a welcome factor, as authorities announced that the search for the 4 missing persons is continuing. In 2020, 33 people died in fires in California. Dixie has so far burned more than 146,000 hectares of land, engulfing the historic town of Greenville. “In two hours the whole town was gone,” said Teresa Clark, a resident. Residents struggled as the area was not evacuated before the flames spread. It is reported that the fire, which spread over a large area with drought and constantly changing winds, frequently changed direction creating its own weather conditions.
12 THE FIRE CONTINUES
There are at least 12 fires going on in the state of California, and Dixie is the largest. Although the California State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) fights fires with its fleet of 39 planes and 12 helicopters, the total area burned in the state this season has approached 200,000 acres.
CONSTRUCTION THEORIES THE PROBLEM EVERYWHERE
As various allegations and conspiracy theories are produced about the causes of the continuing wildfires in southern Turkey, US experts are complaining about a similar situation. An article published the day before in the San Francisco Chronicle explained that the fires were not caused by “the space laser weapon”. CAL FIRE deputy director Daniel Berlant explained that the fires were mainly caused by farmers’ weeding methods in areas close to the forest zone, with lightning being the second cause. “In the midst of a record drought, it’s hard to believe that any land could easily catch fire,” says climatologist Daniel Swain of the University of California.
THE REGION AS GREECE IS BURNED IN RUSSIA
In Russia’s Siberian region, the country’s third largest fire in the past 100 years is occurring. More than a million hectares of land have been reduced to ashes as a result of the fires, which have been particularly effective within Yakutia’s borders and some of which have not been brought under control since July. Experts attribute the fires to persistent extreme temperatures in the northern hemisphere, while 40 planes have been involved in the extinction efforts. According to calculations by the environmental organization Greenpeace, the total size of burnt forests in Russia since the start of 2021 is approximately the size of Greece, at 13.4 million hectares.