Fire rages on Aegean island of Samos for second day

Fire rages on Aegean island of Samos for second day 1

Firefighters on the eastern Aegean island of Samos were battling with a wildfire for a second day Friday as reinforcements began to arrive.

​​More than 100 firefighters, seven ground teams, and volunteers were fighting the flames, while five water-dropping planes and six helicopters were deployed to assist from the air.

Another 52 firefighters and 22 fire engines were expected to arrive Friday on a boat from Piraeus.

Firefighters were on Friday combating the fire on at least three fronts, near the villages of Kokkari, Vourliotes and Mytilinioi.

Local residents were told to be on standby for an immediate evacuation via a text message through the 112 EU emergency number late on Thursday.

On Thursday, authorities evacuated homes and hotels in the seaside village of Kokkari, around 10km from the island’s capital Vathy.

A Police investigation has been launched to investigate how the fire started.

Update

The fire on the island of Samos was presenting a better picture than it was, the head of the fire brigade, Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokouris reported, in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Friday morning.
“The perimeter of the fire is extensive, while we have a widespread individual blazes. We are doing everything possible,” he said.
Kolokouris arrived on the island on Thursday, with the National Civil Defence Director Theodosios Dimakogiannis, to coordinate the fire-fighting effort.
“At this time the fire is in a gorge in the Vourliotes area, while the winds are around 3-4 Beaufort,” he said, adding that an evacuation order had been issued for Kokkari as a precaution but the residents did not finally have to leave as the fire was dealt with before it reached them.
The fire broke out near Vourliotes on Thursday afternoon. A total of 120 fire fighters and 40 fire engines have been mobilised to put out the fire, assisted by five fire-fighting aircraft, volunteer fire fighters and municipality earth-moving machinery and water trucks.
Another 52 fire fighters and 22 vehicles are due to arrive from Piraeus by ferry as reinforcements.