Wildfires Mostly Under Control in Greece, But Strong Winds Remain a Threat

fires greece

The wildfires in Greece, which have been raging for over two weeks, are mostly under control, but firefighters are still on high alert due to strong winds, officials have said.

On Saturday, three new fires erupted in the Peloponnese peninsula, leading to the evacuation of four communities near Pyrgos.

Currently, over 100 firefighters, supported by seven aircraft and two helicopters, are actively working in the affected area. While there are no active fronts in the three major wildfires in Rhodes, Corfu, and central Greece, more than 460 firefighters are still deployed as a precautionary measure.

The fires, fueled by scorching temperatures, dry conditions, and strong winds, have caused chaos during the peak of the summer tourist season.

Thousands of people, including tourists and locals, have been forced to flee their homes and hotels on Rhodes, Corfu, and other areas. So far, the fires have claimed at least five lives and burnt nearly 50,000 hectares (123,500 acres) of forest and vegetation.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which was recently re-elected, has faced political pressure due to the wildfires. The citizen's protection minister resigned after it was revealed that he went on vacation during this crisis.

The heatwave in Greece, which lasted for more than 10 days this month, is said to be the longest recorded in July for decades. Although the temperatures have started to fall, with a predicted maximum of 37°C on Saturday, high wind gusts of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour present further challenges.

Similarly, wildfires have also flared in Croatia, Italy, and Portugal this week, and extreme heat in Algeria has caused blazes that killed 34 people.

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