Today, more than 270 firefighters deployed, supported by 16 aircraft, with the help of the army. Firefighters are still cautious about the possibility of renewed fire in these mountains, despite the improvement in weather conditions on Friday, which led to the control of the main front of the flames last night, while there are still “several active fires sporadic” in the region of Gerania.
“It’s one of the biggest fires in the past 20 or 30 years, and it happened this month, so early in the season,” Fire Chief Stefanos Kolokoris told ANT1.
The Greek Civil Protection Service confirmed that the assessment of the extent of the damage will be carried out once the fire is considered to be under full control, at a stage where no injuries have been reported yet, but only damage to dozens of homes.
The press reveals that the damage caused by the fire is indeed significant.
According to Euthymios Lekkas, professor of environmental disaster management at the University of Athens, this is a “massive environmental disaster that requires action to prevent terrible landslides and floods” after the summer.
“The fire has burned more than 55 square kilometers of pine forests,” the ERT specialist said.
Animal welfare in this habitat is currently one of the biggest concerns, as birds, turtles, dogs, cats, hedgehogs or wild boars have been found completely charred. At the site, volunteers from animal rights groups try to help, provide water and food.
The Greek non-governmental organization Anima said it was “worried” especially about the fire in mid-spring “when the animals have just given birth to their young.” “It is difficult for newborns to run or fly on their own as adults,” the association declared on social media.
The WWF launched a petition under the slogan “Fight for prevention today will save our forests tomorrow”, demanding “the state take serious measures to prevent forest fires” and managed to collect 3,300 signatures within a few hours. Among the proposals are developing maps of lost forests, better management of the waste incineration problem in certain areas, and a national action plan.
Greece faces dangerous forest fires every year, fueled by drought, strong winds, and temperatures often above 30 degrees.