The Prime Minister of Greece, the conservative Kyriacos Mitsotakis, said this Thursday, August 31, that the fire, which is already 13 days old in a large part of the Dadia forest, could end up consuming more than 150,000 hectares, which represents 1.1% of the country’s total area and the worst damage by fires recorded since 2007, in terms of burned territory.
It is the largest fire ever recorded in the European Union and the Greek authorities are already calling it the “megafire.”
In 13 days, more than 80,000 hectares have been burned and in the corridors of the European Union headquarters in Brussels, they affirm that there are some natural disasters that seem to be impossible to contain by human force.
The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriacos Mitsotakis, assured that his country will immediately work on “the restoration of the burned forests” and that “as of this Thursday, the fire extinguishing forces in the northeast of the country were redoubled.”
According to the information provided, more than 100 firefighters joined the operation, bringing the total to 582, supported by a fleet of ten planes and seven helicopters from nine European countries, according to the fire department.
Within the framework of the emergency response mechanism of the European Union (EU), Spain sent two planes that were added to those already sent by France, Germany, Sweden, Croatia, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. For Brussels, this fire has required “the largest aerial firefighting operation in the EU to date.”
In total, almost 500 firefighters and a hundred vehicles participate in the tasks to contain the flames; Six other tanker planes and four national helicopters are also part of the rescues.
Ο Έβρος χρειάζεται μια μεσοπρόθεσμη πολιτική ανασυγκρότησης. Έως το τέλος του έτους θα παρουσιάσουμε ένα ειδικό αναπτυξιακό σχέδιο , το οποίο θα λάβει υπ όψη του και τα σημαντικά συμπεράσματα της αρμόδιας επιτροπής για τη Θράκη .
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 31, 2023
“We must have better satellite images, we will subscribe to advanced satellite heat recording systems that will give us real-time information about the progress of a fire,” he explained..
“Consequence of climate change”
For parliamentarians in Brussels, the fire in Greece is directly related to climate change. In the debate in Parliament, Mitsotakis said a fire of this “unprecedented” size could only be attributed to the wave of fires in Europe this year.
“The climate crisis is here, increasingly threatening us all,” said the Greek head of government, and took the opportunity to call on Mediterranean countries to cooperate more in developing strategies to deal with disasters.
“We learn from our mistakes, but we should agree on a common assumption: that climate threats are often one step ahead of human defenses,” he stressed.
Greece: Evros was reduced to ashes after forest fire
YesAccording to experts, the fire has already caused “an ecological and economic disaster” in the department of Evros, one of the poorest sectors of the country, and the one that marks the border with Turkey.
Until this Thursday, it was reported that the active front is currently in Kotronia, in the border area of the Dadia National Forest Park, to the west.
Dadia is known worldwide as a habitat or hibernation place for birds of prey and is protected by the European Natura 2000 network. In this area, on August 22, authorities found 18 charred bodies, including two children.
Health authorities estimated that the deceased could have been refugees who entered Greece from neighboring Turkey, irregularly, who did not want to be seen by the authorities.
With EFE, Reuters and local media
Source: France 24