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Greek Civil Protection: Be Ahead of the Fire – Alert, Prevent, Act

Photo Source: @Civil Protection Authority

As the weather gets hotter and the traditional Greek summer winds stronger, civil protection authorities are urging residents and travelers to take preventative measures, be alert and ready to act in order to avoid fires.

According to the fire brigade, 95 percent of all blazes in Greece are “man-made”. At the same time, experts are calling on the government in view of climate change to immediately set into force a complete and coherent management plan which would cover the entire country.

Besides providing hourly weather updates and a detailed fire map, the Secretariat of Civil Protection reminds that any form of burning – rubbish or dry leaves and branches – is prohibited during the May-October period.

Individuals are advised to be alert, prepared and to take preventative measures:

– Do not light fires or barbecues in the woods or in high-risk areas,
– Do not discard lit cigarettes,
– Do not leave rubbish in the forest or in park areas.

For those with homes, particularly near forest areas:

-take all the necessary safety precautions,
-create a firewall around your home,
-install smoke detectors, pull stations and fire extinguishers,
-allow easy access for fire-fighting vehicles.

Inform your municipal or local services responsible for parks and green spaces to collect dry garden waste as well as clear away uncontrolled growth.

Photo source: Dikaiologitika

If you spot smoke or fire, call the Fire Service immediately on 199 and provide clear information including exact location, direction of the fire, and type of burning vegetation.

For more ways on fire safety measures, press here.

Tragic Timeline 

Greece has repeatedly been ravaged by wildfires, the deadliest being the fires in Kifissia (1981), Gerakas (1982), Ikaria (1993), Samos (2000), Peloponnese and Evia (2007), and last year’s Mati fire which left over 100 dead and missing.

Thick smoke looms over Marikes Beach in Rafina, 26km west of Athens, as wildfires fanned by gale force winds ravaged the coastal resort towns of northeastern Attica.

Rafina, Attica, July 2018 (archive photo).

In the meantime, Greece – together with France, Italy and Spain – is expected to face a blast of hot air from northern Africa on Friday, set to send thermometers over 40 degrees Celsius.

Meteorologists say this week’s heatwave may just break June heat records.

Earlier this week, fires broke out in Karystos on the island of Evia, which led to the evacuation of 15 residents, and in Lavrio on Thursday morning.

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