Greece battles fierce wildfires amid heatwave

In the northeastern region of Evros, a wildfire was ablaze for a fourth day in Dadia National Park, known for its black vulture colony.

The fire has already destroyed nearly 500ha of woodland.

More than 300 firefighters struggled to control the fire in Evros and late Saturday, the thick smoke forced the evacuation of the village of Dadias.

It was not known how many people were evacuated.

“The most important thing for us is the safety of the villagers and all forces will be deployed there,” Evros governor Dimitris Petrovits told Athens News Agency.

The fire had already passed the raptor birds observatory and was closing in on the buildings of the protected area management unit.

Petrovits said collecting and treating injured animals was a high priority for authorities.

In the Peloponnese, a southern peninsula, a fire that broke out Saturday morning forced the evacuation of Chrysokelaria village.

By midday on Sunday, firefighters had managed to contain the fire.

A wildfire in mountains near Athens on Wednesday also damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate after gale-force winds earlier this week.

Greece’s worst wildfire disaster killed 102 lives in 2018 in the coastal suburb of Mati, east of Athens.

The latest fires come after a heatwave and wildfires last year destroyed 103,000ha and claimed three lives in Greece.

Fires in parts of France, Spain and Portugal have already burned more land so far this year than was destroyed by flames in all of 2021.

The area, some 517,881ha, is equivalent to the size of Trinidad and Tobago.