Dramatic scenes… Strong winds spoil Europe’s attempts to control the fires in Greece
The battle to put out wildfires raging around Athens intensified for a fourth day, as water bombers from Italy and France scrambled to join the operation to douse flames often fanned by strong winds.
The firefighters, backed by soldiers, police special forces, volunteers and water spraying planes, have resumed their efforts to contain the blazes that by Wednesday had spread to the town of Megara.
Mass evacuation and dramatic scenes
She added that by late last Tuesday, a fire front that stretched for more than 5 miles led to mass evacuations and destroyed homes, cars, olive groves and pine forests in the Mandra region, where police were seen helping panicked residents into vehicles as the flames approached.
In dramatic scenes overnight, firefighting forces fought to stop the flames that had reached a coastal complex of oil refineries near Corinth, where Sky TV reported the blaze was 500 meters (1,600 feet) from the facility.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said, “Last night, the men and women of the civil protection forces and all state agencies made superhuman efforts, and the efforts will continue because the weather conditions are expected to be difficult today.”
The fires on Wednesday were reported to have originated in the same homes in Megara, as Greek media described flames 4km long on the outskirts of the city of 30,000 people.
The ever-changing winds made the work of firefighters more difficult, and the mayor of Megara, Gregorios Stamoulis, said, “We evacuated the area in time,” calling for more planes to be sent to the area.
And the British newspaper reported that the air means are the only ones capable of working and achieving a decisive result, because the ground forces cannot stop the fire in the forest.
Authorities said firefighters were also battling violence in the Loutraki region, where at least 32 houses were burned and a state of emergency was declared on Tuesday, while fires were reported on the islands of Rhodes and Crete.
The newspaper pointed out that by order of the children’s men, 3 villages in Rhodes were evacuated because the fires were out of control, and Kostas Tsigas, who heads the Association of Fire Officers, told Sky TV: “The conditions are harsh and are likely to remain that way for another week.”
In a week that highlighted the realities of the climate emergency, thousands were forced to flee their homes as a result of bushfires and countless lost the possessions they had worked their lives to acquire.