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16 June, 2024
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Desperate battle against unyielding fires rages on

Ongoing efforts to contain flames amidst multiple fronts


Greece is grappling with an ongoing state of fire as blazes continue to ravage several regions.

A determined struggle to contain the fire that ignited at the base of Mount Parnitha yesterday morning remains ongoing, marked by intermittent flare-ups and a flurry of messages to emergency number 112.

Vigorous attempts are being made to prevent the fire from spreading into the National Forest atop the mountain.

For the fifth consecutive day, the Fire Department remains engaged in operations in Evros, confronting two fronts—Alexandroupoli and the Dadia forest—where 18 fatalities were tragically recorded yesterday.

Simultaneously, fires persist in various parts of the country, with active fronts in Aspropyrgos, Rodopi, Fthiotida, and Viotia.

Here are the minute-by-minute developments

12:30 - Parnitha: The battle with the flames through the lens of the Associated Press

12:06 - The fire is raging in Agia Paraskevi - Footage from the scene causes horror

11:51 - Dangerous resurgence near the Holy Monastery of Kleiston

11:45 - Alexandroupoli - Rodopi: Video from the Assistance of the Armed Forces in extinguishing the fire

11:36 - Evacuation also in Aspropyrgos

11:31 - New 112 alert - Evacuation of the Lefanto area towards Ano Liosia

11:25 - Intentional arson arrest in Zefyri

11:16 - Video from the fire at the foot of Mount Parnitha

11:11 - The residents of Agia Paraskevi, Menidi and Kapota are being evacuated

The settlements of Agia Paraskevi Menidi and Kapota are being evacuated due to the ongoing forest fire. The residents of the above areas were notified by message via 112 in order to move towards the center of Menidi.

In particular, the message states: "Forest fire in the area. If you are in the area of ​​Agia Paraskevi Menidi and Kapotas, move away towards the center of Menidi. Follow the authorities' instructions."

10:55 - Battle on two fronts in Kavala

The fire brigades are concentrating their efforts on two intense fronts, namely Avramylia and Dialektos. These are the same fronts where firefighting teams have been tirelessly battling the fire that ignited in the Chrysoupoli Kavala region on Monday.

As per the latest update from the fire service, the overall fire situation in the area seems to have improved. A total of 44 firefighters are engaged at the forefront of the fire combat, aided by 15 water-carrying vehicles and two teams on foot. Additionally, two aircraft are lending support from the skies, including one from Croatia.

The fire's origin was within a forested zone near the village of Dialektos. Driven by strong winds, the blaze quickly spawned multiple fronts that threatened inhabited sections of the Nestos municipality. Preliminary accounts indicate extensive damage, including the destruction of numerous houses in the local communities of Avramylia and Gerontas. Moreover, the flames have ravaged livestock shelters, olive groves, and vast expanses of grassland across the affected area.

10:54 - Supreme Court intervention in Evros: Organized arson and immigrant violence probe

Prosecutor Georgia Adeilini of the Supreme Court is urging an inquiry to uncover signs of a coordinated arson scheme in Evros. This request has been forwarded to the prosecutorial office in Alexandroupoli. Simultaneously, she is also calling for an examination into instances of violence against immigrants.

10:47 - Rodopi: The fire brigades are on alert in Mischos and Ano Drosini

Fire brigades are currently on high alert in the regions of Mischo and Ano Drosini in Rodopi, poised to swiftly address any rekindling of the flames due to prevailing winds. "Fortunately, the situation is gradually improving, but this doesn't imply that the threat has subsided," noted Nikos Tsalikidis, Deputy Governor of Rodopi, in a statement to APE - MPE. He added, "We remain vigilant and prepared."

These areas experienced fires on August 21st at noon, with reports indicating that over 10 houses were consumed by the flames in Sosti, Polyanthos, and Linos. The fires also inflicted damage on crops, resulted in the loss of animals, and led to injuries.

According to the fire service, active fires are actively being managed in Ano Drosini and Mischos Rodopis. On the scene, a team of 12 firefighters equipped with five water-carrying vehicles and a pedestrian unit is diligently working. The efforts are bolstered by the participation of volunteers, local government officials, and individuals from the primary sector who continue to provide their assistance.

10:39 - Evros: The current situation in the area of ​​Lefkimi

10:37 - Intense resurgence in Agia Paraskevi - houses threatened

10:17 - Samothraki fire extinguished

It's important to note that an alert message was dispatched via 112 in the early morning hours to residents in the Corfoudi area.

As confirmed by the fire department, the extinguishing operation has been successfully concluded.

10:08 - Images from the battle with the flames in Parnitha

09:24 - Aspropyrgos update: Improved situation amidst ongoing challenges

09:10 - The fire in Kryoneri Nafpaktia was contained

The fire, which broke out in an agroforestry area yesterday, shortly after 2 in the afternoon, in Kryoneri Nafpaktia, was contained.

As reported by ERT, the fire was burning in low vegetation and no settlements were threatened.

Strong firefighting forces remain on site and are working to extinguish it completely.

09:03- Shocking video: Bus with firefighters passes through flames

08:55 - The huge cloud of smoke over Evros - Satellite images

The huge cloud of smoke that has covered the area of ​​Alexandroupolis and Evros is revealed by American satellite images. The images were broadcast by the Reuters agency from the satellite of the Maxar Institute of the USA:

Maxar Technologies /Handout via REUTERS

08:42 - Alexandroupolis: Details of the active fronts of the Evros fire

While the prevailing winds in Evros are relatively subdued, they remain key factors in regulating the fire's intensity, trajectory, and pace. Today, these winds are projected, by forestry services, to exert a determining influence over the challenges and effectiveness of the firefighting endeavors across the four remaining fronts in the Prefecture.

With ground firefighting teams unswayed, a complement of seven aerial vehicles is actively engaged in the operational plan, which prioritizes the preservation of human life, property, and the natural forest ecosystem. Since the morning hours, concentrated efforts have been underway to subdue and extinguish the fire fronts in Dadia, Melia, Leptokaria, and Sycorrach.

The progression of the fire front in Dadia, persisting for its third day, is being closely monitored by the prefecture's forest services. Due to the prevailing northeast winds, the fire's movement is directed toward the southwest. Upon encountering ravines, this results in the formation of new fire fronts exhibiting geometric progression. Forecasts indicate that unless the Dadia fire, situated further north, is brought under control, the situation in southern Evros will not abate. A pertinent example is the case of Melia, which had previously experienced a fire outbreak on the preceding Saturday, only to now find itself threatened by the descending flames from the Dadia front that has approached its vicinity.

In prior days, settlements like Avanta, Nipsa, and Dorikos were at risk due to the simultaneous threats posed by both the Melia and Dadia fires. Should the Dadia fire shift southwestward due to northeast winds, Avanta faces renewed peril.

The collective ground forces on duty comprise 220 firefighters, supported by 59 vehicles, 11 infantry teams, two firefighting aircraft, and five firefighting helicopters.

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