The fires that broke out in Greece nearly a week ago are showing no signs of abating.
Three major fires are currently burning across the country. The largest is located on Greece’s second largest island, the tourist destination of Evia, where thousands have already been evacuated. Many continued to queue in the northern part of the island on Sunday, waiting for ferries to board.
“We have another difficult afternoon, another difficult night,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Sunday. “All the forces that are fighting a difficult battle all these days will continue to work with intensity and relentlessly and with the same self-sacrifice,” he added.
The fires destroyed dozens of homes and businesses, and damaged virgin forests. The government ordered the evacuation of four villages in northern Evia. This includes the village of Pefki, which was used as a refuge area for people already displaced by the fire.
A fire official told a local newspaper that the fires were intense, and the water from the hoses and planes was evaporating before they reached hell, France media agency reports.
Another large fire is burning in the southern Peloponnese peninsula near ancient Olympia, and one fire is burning in the central area of Fokida, north of Athens. Dozens of small fires are burning across the country. The fires have killed two people, including a volunteer firefighter who died near Athens after being hit by a fire-damaged utility pole, according to the Associated Press.
With emergency responders exhausted, Greece sought help from countries near and far. Several countries have already sent planes and firefighters, including France, Israel, Romania, Spain and the United States. the Navy Times Reports The US Navy sent a reconnaissance plane late last week to aid the effort.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis thanked countries for their help on Sunday. “On behalf of the Greek people, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the countries that have sent assistance and resources to help fight the wildfires,” Mitsotakis said. She said on Twitter.
The fires started after the country’s longest heat wave in three decades, which kept temperatures around 113 degrees Fahrenheit for several days, and led to drought. Mitsotakis said The fires are linked to the “reality of climate change”.
Greece isn’t the only country on fire. Amid a record heat wave, wildfires have also been burning in Turkey, Lebanon and Italy. in a TurkeyMore than 500 square miles of coastal forest were burned, and eight people were killed. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated there.