Devastating Wildfires Ravage Greek Island of Corfu, Arson Suspected


Arsonists are responsible for the catastrophic wildfires that have torn through the picturesque Greek island of Corfu, triggering mass evacuations and destroying their wake. Corfu mayor Yorgos Mahimaris pointed to evidence of arson after personally inspecting three locations where the fires originated on Mount Pantokratoras.

Deputy mayor of North Corfu, Theofanis Skembris, supported this view, asserting that four fires had ignited "simultaneously.

" He stated that an official investigation would be conducted, but initial assumptions indicated foul play, as it is highly unlikely for fires to break out simultaneously in multiple locations.

Chariton Koutscouris, Corfu's deputy mayor for tourism and construction, expressed his dismay at the actions of those who derive pleasure from inflicting pain on others. He revealed that officials had received a warning from a fire service chief on Friday, suspecting the possibility of the fires starting over the weekend.

As firefighting teams grapple with the relentless blazes, the Greek Fire Service confirmed the evacuation of 12 residential areas in Corfu, with tourists safely relocated to Kassiopi's village. Some individuals later fled the island by boat, seeking refuge from the encroaching flames.

Corfu is not isolated, as dozens of wildfires continue to rage across Greece, stretching the nation's firefighting capabilities to the limit. On Sunday, the country experienced its hottest summer day, with temperatures soaring to a scorching 46.4°C in the southern town of Gytheio. A staggering 64 fires broke out on that fateful day, resulting in Greece's largest-ever mass evacuation.

The island of Rhodes, another popular Greek destination, has also been severely affected, with approximately 19,000 people evacuated from various locations as wildfires continue to spread for the sixth consecutive day.

Speaking before parliament on Monday, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the fight against the fire on Rhodes as a "war."

"We will rebuild what we lost, and cover the damages. Protecting human lives should be our priority," he said.

Tourism accounts for 18 per cent of Greece’s output and one in five jobs. This reliance on the tourist industry is even greater on Rhodes and many other Greek islands.

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