August 29, 2023

GREECE: As Of August 25, 80 People Have Been Arrested FOR ARSON. Early On News Blaming Fires On High Temps. Global Warming My Ass! Fires Destroyed Area Larger Than NYC After 11 Days.

Reuters published August 29, 2023: Greece wildfire burns area bigger than NYC. A wildfire burning in northeastern Greece for 11 days has destroyed an area larger than New York City, the European Union-backed Copernicus Climate Change Service said, as firefighters from five countries battled to contain the flames.
euronews published August 22, 2023: 18 bodies found in Greek forest as wildfires ravage north of the country. Officials say the charred bodies were found in the Dadia forest in Evros, north-eastern Greece. A hospital in the port of Alexandroupolis was also evacuated on Monday night while firefighters continued to battle the flames on the island of Evia.
ABC News (Australia) published August 9, 2021Evia island engulfed in flames as Greek wildfires cut a path of destruction for sixth day. Hundreds of residents and tourists evacuate Greece's second-largest island as flames burn through forests and encroach on villages.
WION News, India
written by Vikrant Singh
Sunday August 27, 2023

As Greece reels under a devastating wave of wildfires, the country's authorities have arrested several dozens of people for starting wildfires on purpose. The country’s fire department officials arrested two men in the latest instance over charges of arson.

One was arrested on the island of Evia for setting dried grass on fire in the Karystos area. The man also confessed to having set four other fires in the area in July and August. A second man was arrested in the Larissa area of central Greece, who was also accused of intentionally setting fire to dried vegetation.

Greece govt vows strict action

Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s climate crisis and civil protection minister, said Thursday (August 24) that their acts were “despicable.”

“Some … arsonists are setting fires, endangering forests, property and above all human lives,” Kikilias said.

“What is happening is not just unacceptable, but despicable and criminal,” he added.

“You are committing a crime against the country,” Kikilias said. “We will find you. You will be held accountable to justice,” he added.

The minister reported that within a span of four hours on Thursday morning, nine fires were deliberately ignited in the Avlona region, situated in the northern foothills of Mount Parnitha. This mountain is among the last remaining green spaces on the outskirts of Athens.

On the same day, a 45-year-old individual was arrested by the police on suspicion of committing arson. He is believed to be responsible for starting a minimum of three fires within the Avlona vicinity. Upon searching his residence, law enforcement discovered materials such as kindling, a fire torch gun, and pine needles.

About 80 people arrested so far

According to a BBC report published Friday (August 25), at least 80 people have been arrested so far in a crackdown aimed at reining in arsonists.

Greece has been grappling with a daily surge of numerous fires during the past week. Gale-force winds and the dry, hot conditions of summer have united to inflame these blazes and impede the efforts of firefighting teams.

On Friday, firefighters dealt with a total of 111 fires, with 59 of them erupting between Thursday and Friday evenings, according to the fire department.

Although the majority of these fires were swiftly brought under control during their initial stages, a few escalated into extensive infernos that devoured homes and extensive stretches of forest.

BBC News, UK
written by Andre Rhoden-Paul
Friday August 25, 2023

Greece has called out "arsonist scum" after police made 79 arson arrests over wildfires ravaging the country.

Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said there had been several attempts by arsonists to start new fires on Mount Parnitha, north-west of Athens.

The blaze is one of hundreds in the nation where wildfires have already killed at least 20 people this week.

"You are committing a crime against the country," Mr Kikilias said.

"Arsonist scum are setting fires that threaten forests, property and, most of all, human lives," Mr Kikilias told Greeks during a televised emergency briefing on Thursday.

"You will not get away with it, we will find you, you will be held accountable."

Summer wildfires are common in Greece and scientists have linked the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, to climate change.

Stefan Doerr, who directs the Centre for Wildfire Research at Swansea University, says that more flammable landscapes - due to hot weather or poor vegetation management - mean that arson and other incidents can more easily turn into fast-moving wildfires.

Police and Greek intelligence service EYP are investigating the incidents, AFP reported.

Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis told Greek public broadcaster ERT that of 140 wildfire-related arrests, 79 were related to arson.

Hundreds of firefighters across Greece have been battling deadly wildfires.

The large fire front which erupted on Saturday near the port city of Alexandroupolis has become the EU's largest on record, according to European commissioner Janez Lenarcic.

Meanwhile, on Mount Parnitha near Athens, fires have been raging in a forest adjoining the capital, threatening a national park.

Earlier this week, the bodies of 19 people believed to be migrants, with children among them, were found near the Evros region of north-eastern Greece.

A shepherd also lost his life in the fires in the Boeotia region on Monday.

Mr Kikilias said on Wednesday the country was going through the worst summer since fire-risk maps were introduced in 2009.

Just last month, thousands of people were forced to flee fires on the Greek island of Rhodes after wildfires broke out there and in other parts of the country.

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