Wildfire Breaks Out in Crete, Greece, Injuring Three People

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ATHENS -- According to Fire Brigade officers, three people were injured on Saturday during Greece's first major wildfire of the year, which broke out on Crete island in southern Greece.

The fire originated in a forested area on the outskirts of Ierapetra city in the southeastern part of the island.

A press release stated that a total of 169 firefighters were deployed to combat the flames, which were being fueled by winds up to 8 on the Beaufort scale in the area. They were assisted by four water-dropping helicopters.

An elderly man was hospitalized in serious condition, while a female resident of a nearby settlement and a firefighter sustained minor injuries.

As a precautionary measure, authorities issued an emergency alert to approximately 300 residents of four villages, advising them to evacuate their homes.

According to the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, a total of 71 wildfires broke out across Greece on Saturday.

Greece faces numerous wildfires every summer due to high temperatures, heatwaves associated with climate change, and intentional acts of arson. In 2023, twenty individuals lost their lives due to wildfires, while in 2018, over 100 people died during the fire season.

Officially, the fire season in Greece spans from May 1 to October 31 each year. However, the recent weeks have seen unusually warm spring weather, prompting authorities to remain vigilant against wildfires. According to Greek meteorologists, temperatures on the mainland reached 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024