TE24 International Desk:
Greece battled three wildfires across the country on Sunday. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate due to growing fire concerns as temperatures rise.
The heat wave has hit the country since Saturday and is expected to last for 10 days. In some areas, temperatures should rise to 42 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit). Experts warn that rising temperatures will be blamed on climate change and will exacerbate it. Fires in the north, east and south of Greece, including Lesbos.
A fire broke out on the island of Lesvos on Sunday after an eruption the previous day, evacuating hundreds of tourists and residents from the beach village of Batera. At least four houses were destroyed, state television ERT reported, and the fire damaged an unknown number of shops, hotels and beach bars in the village of Agun. On Sunday morning, firefighters tried to control the fire, with four watercraft and two helicopters in operation. A wildfire in Dadia National Park, northeast of Ebros, known for its black vulture colony, broke out on the fourth day.
The fire has already destroyed about 500 hectares of forest. More than 300 firefighters battled the Ebros blaze, and heavy smoke forced the evacuation of Dadias village late Saturday. It is not known how many people have been evacuated.
“The most important thing for us is the safety of the villagers and all the troops are deployed there,” Dimitris Petrovitz, governor of Ibros, told the Athens News Agency. The fire has already crossed the Raptor Observatory and is approaching a conservation area administration building.
Collecting and treating injured animals is a top priority for authorities, Petrovitz said. On the southern peninsula of Peloponnese, a fire broke out on Saturday morning, forcing the evacuation of the village of Chrysokaria.
A wildfire also damaged homes in the mountains near Athens on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people after strong winds earlier this week.
Greece’s worst wildfire disaster in 2018 killed 102 people in the coastal suburb of Matti, east of Athens.
A recent blaze came after heat waves and wildfires destroyed 103,000 hectares (255,000 acres) and killed three people in Greece last year. Wildfires this year in parts of France, Spain and Portugal have already burned more land than all of 2021’s fires combined. The area is about 517,881 hectares