Forest fires continue to rage in parts of southern Europe: in Greece, a village near the burning Dadia National Park has been evacuated. It also continues to burn on the holiday island of Lesvos. In Spain, a fire is causing concern on Tenerife.
The massive fire in Dadia National Park in north-eastern Greece continues to rage uncontrollably. The village of Dadia was evacuated during the night, and in the morning the military and forest workers were deployed to cut aisles through the pine forests and thereby prevent the flames from spreading further. Firefighting operations on the ground and in the air also continued. 320 firefighters were deployed with 68 fire engines. According to civil protection, almost all available fire-fighting helicopters and aircraft are currently in use nationwide.
Fire continues to rage on Lesbos
A large fire on the south side of the holiday island of Lesbos, where a village had been evacuated the day before, also remained uncontrolled. Two hotels and more than 90 houses were evacuated in the coastal town of Vatera, police said. A total of 450 people were brought to safety there. The Coast Guard had previously announced that they had evacuated the beach. According to information from the state TV broadcaster ERT, at least two houses in Vatera were destroyed in the fire.
Meanwhile, another village on Lesvos has been evacuated because of the fire. At noon, residents of the village of Vrisa on the south side of the island were called to leave the village. Several houses and cars have already fallen victim to the flames. The smoke was so strong that it could be seen from space. This was announced by the European earth observation system Copernicus on Twitter and posted a corresponding satellite image.
More than 140 fires within 24 hours
Within 24 hours, 141 fires were registered throughout Greece, according to the fire department. Among other things, a substation of the state electricity company caught fire near the city of Larisa in Thessaly. The authorities continue to assess the risk of fire as high. Meteorologists announced high temperatures of up to 40 degrees and drought for the coming days up to the beginning of August.
Fire on Tenerife
In Spain, a fire on Tenerife is currently causing concern. The flames have already destroyed more than 2150 hectares on the Canary Island, which is popular with tourists, said regional president Ángel Víctor Torres late in the evening. 585 residents of La Guancha and four other communities in the north of the island have been brought to safety. Numerous foreign hiking tourists had been warned of the flames at the nearby Teide National Park.
Regional President: “Extinguish as soon as possible”
In fighting the flames, the approximately 150 emergency services have recently made great progress, also thanks to higher humidity and weaker winds. However, the temperature rise announced for today and Monday to up to 38 degrees is worrying. “So we have to put out the fire as soon as possible,” said Torres.
All forest fires in Spain have now been extinguished or largely under control – except for the fire in Tenerife and two fires that broke out on Saturday in Yunquera northeast of Madrid and in Olmeda del Rey southeast of the capital and have been fought by a total of 235 emergency services for months.
Drought and heat in Spain
In combination with a drought that has lasted for months and strong winds, the heat had favored the outbreak and spread of many fires, according to the Aemet weather service. 2022 is already the most devastating forest fire year for Spain since records began. In the first seven months of the year, the flames destroyed around 200,000 hectares.
A forest fire contained in the south-west of France
Forest fires continue to rage in France: However, the fire brigade in the south-west of the country was able to bring a fire under control after eleven days. The fire is now contained, local authorities said on Saturday. Thousands of residents of the municipality of La Teste-de-Buch, who had been brought to safety in the past few days, can therefore return to their homes. However, with a view to another major fire in the region, the fire brigade has not yet been able to give the all-clear. The fire in the municipality of Landiras is no longer spreading, according to the prefecture of the Gironde department. However, there are still around 30 active sources of fire and there is a risk that the fire will flare up again.