This Tuesday, July 18, for the second day in a row, Greek firefighters continue their fight against wildfires that broke out the day before near Athens while many residents were evacuated from affected coastal areas in the grip of a heat wave.
“Our main concern is to protect human life”The spokesman for the firefighters, Yannis Artopios, said during a press conference, on Tuesday morning, stressing that the fight against the fire is continuing.
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The fiercest fire front occurred on Tuesday in the Dervinohoria forest, 50 kilometers north of Athens, where 140 firefighters are working, supported by six water jets and a helicopter, according to Yannis Artopios.
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In the coastal area 40 km from Athens, in Kouvaras, where the fire broke out on Monday before strong winds carried it to the neighboring towns of Anavisos and Lagonissi, many residents had to leave their homes on Monday evening after calls from the authorities to move away from the area.
Several fires have broken out in Greece in recent hours, driven by sweltering temperatures and strong winds. Evacuations have been ordered in the Athens area.pic.twitter.com/9lNAFiDz2o
– Alexandros Koutis (@alexandros_kts) July 17, 2023
Twitter – Alexandros Kotis on Twitter
Several houses were burned, according to images broadcast by the public television channel ERT, and an equestrian center was evacuated, threatening fire, as well as the evacuation of a monastery.
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44.2 °C in the Taiba area
On Tuesday, 230 firefighters and five helicopters continued to operate in this coastal area, and traffic remained halted on the roads around the affected localities.
A third fire remained burning in the seaside resort of Loutraki, 80 km west of the Greek capital, near the Isthmus of Corinth, where the day before 1,200 children had been evacuated from holiday camps threatened by the fire. And on that front, 120 firefighters and five planes and a helicopter continued to battle the flames on Tuesday.
Like part of Europe, Greece has been hit since last Friday by a heat wave for the first time this year, with a peak of 44.2 degrees Celsius in the Thebes region (center), according to the National Observatory of Athens.
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On Sunday evening, the thermometer began to drop slightly and the Climate Crisis Ministry warned of a rise in temperature “Rising Danger” Fires due to strong winds blowing between 50 and 60 km / h.
Forest fires are common in Greece during the summer. In 2021, huge fires ravage part of the country, killing three people and destroying more than 100,000 hectares of forest. In 2018, more than 100 people died in Mati, near Athens, in the country’s deadliest fire.