| 19 June 2024, Wednesday |

Greece wildfires fanned by strong winds, killing one

On Monday, a person was killed in Greece by wildfires driven by gale force winds in the northeastern town of Evros, as officials warned that most regions faced a high chance of fresh blazes.

In the last 24 hours, 64 wildfires have started across Greece, prompting officials to urge the evacuation of numerous villages in the Evros area, near the Turkish border.

A man’s corpse was discovered in a rural region near the port city of Alexandroupolis in Evros on Monday evening, according to a local police officer.

“The body was burned from the fire, probably was a migrant,” the official added.

Many migrants from Syria and Asian countries are using the river border separating Greece from Turkey in Evros to enter the European Union.

More than 200 firefighters backed by 18 aircraft were battling a wildfire burning for the third day in the region.

“Τhe next 48 hours are extremely critical due to the extreme weather conditions,” fire brigade spokesperson Ioannis Artopios said in a briefing.

Cyprus said it was sending two firefighting aircraft to help Greek fire fighters.

Summer wildfires in Greece are common but have been made worse in recent years by unusually hot, dry and windy conditions that scientists have linked to climate change.

More than 20,000 foreign tourists had to be evacuated from the holiday island of Rhodes in July as wildfires burned for a week, destroying hotels and resorts.

Firefighters in Spain also battled on Monday to stabilise a huge wildfire that has devastated forests on the island of Tenerife for six days.

In Greece’s northern seaside city of Kavala, two firefighters were injured on Monday while trying to contain a blaze threatening homes in the village of Dialekto, the fire brigade said.

A wildfire also broke out in the village of Psacha near Evia, where more evacuations were ordered. More than 90 firefighters and eight aircrafts were battling the flames, assisted by French firefighting forces.

  • Reuters