Emergency efforts underway to extinguish wildfires in Greece Emergency efforts underway to extinguish wildfires in Greece  (AFP or licensors)

Firefighters in Greece struggle to contain deadly wildfires

Hundreds of fire-fighters, including reinforcements from across Europe, continue to battle three major wildfires in Greece.

By Nathan Morley

Greece has endured a long summer of wildfires burning across various parts of the country.

Over the last week, a huge blaze in the northeast at Evros and Alexandroupolis is thought to have caused the deaths of at least 20 people.

That fire has been burning for nearly ten days. Greece radio reports that over 250 fire-fighters, seven planes and several helicopters are tackling the blaze. According to the European Union’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service, the fire has destroyed 770 square kilometers of land.

Elsewhere, north of Athens, another major wildfire has been blazing since last week, scorching property and burning the wooded hills around a national park. Most fires are being propelled by strong winds and blistering summer temperatures.

In Brussels, EU officials have pointed the finger at climate change for the growing frequency and strength of wildfires in Europe.

Earlier this summer, Greek authorities evacuated over 20,000 holidaymakers from Rhodes in an operation that the British media compared with the evacuation of France in World War Two.

Hundreds of wildfires have afflicted the Mediterranean this summer, with areas in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Italy and Turkey all suffering blazes.

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27 August 2023, 12:48