The fires started Monday in the country are likely to be fanned by strong winds on Wednesday. The extreme temperatures also raise fears of new outbreaks of fire.
The situation is not improving in Greece. The fires that started on Monday continue to rage across the country. On Tuesday, around fifty fires broke out in just 24 hours throughout the territory, and around ten are still ongoing.
The most violent is currently in the forest of Dervenochoria, 50 km north of Athens, where “significant ground forces are at work and since the first light of day”, said a spokesman for the sappers. -firefighters, Vassilis Vathrakogiannis, during a press briefing in the early morning.
Five planes and eight helicopters were deployed to try to bring the flames under control. A “thick smoke” makes the sky imperceptible and “the air suffocating” according to the special correspondent of BFMTV in Greece, who appears masked to protect herself.
French reinforcements arrived on site
The other main front, around the seaside resort of Loutraki, about 80 km from the Greek capital, also worries the authorities because the flames “are heading towards an oil depot” according to Philippe-Pascal Besson, founder and president of international firefighters. at the microphone of BFMTV.
A fire also broke out on Tuesday on the tourist island of Rhodes, in the south-east of the country. Even if it does not currently threaten residential areas, it has spread and is progressing towards the center of the island.
To help the 540 firefighters – who were asked to postpone their departure on vacation -, police and civil security volunteers mobilized throughout the territory, France sent air reinforcements.
Two Canadair, a reconnaissance plane and eighteen personnel including pilots, technicians and logisticians arrived Tuesday evening around 8 p.m. in Athens. They should be operational in the afternoon. Italy has also decided to provide assistance within the framework of the European Civil Protection Mechanism.
The Greeks will indeed need this support to face a new day of struggle this Wednesday. Despite the regular drops of water to prevent the spread of flames, the level of fire risk remains 4 out of 5, according to the special correspondent of BFMTV on the spot.
“Swirling” winds of 50 to 60 km/h
The weather conditions are very unfavorable. “Swirling” winds of 50 to 60 km/h are expected today, coupled with very dry vegetation. This makes it conducive to the rapid spread of flames.
“It’s the worst situation indeed. […]. This rotating wind can easily carry embers hundreds of meters or even hundreds of kilometers,” explains Loïc Rivières, BFMTV weather and climate specialist. Fortunately, the wind should gradually weaken during the day.
And like all of southern Europe, Greece is stuck under a heat dome that is driving up temperatures. 37 to 38°C are expected in the afternoon. A mercury which should be close to 44°C from Thursday. Firefighters therefore warned of “the very high risk” of new fires around Athens, Attica, Crete (south) and the south of the Peloponnese peninsula.
The fires have burned homes, closed highways and evacuated several beach areas in recent days.
Source: BFM TV