Thursday, July 25, 2024

Greece is still in the grip of the ‘biggest fire on record in the European Union’

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“Even in 100 years, we won’t find this biodiversity,” worries a forest fire expert. The flames have been ravaging Greece for 12 days and have already burned more than 80,000 hectares.

For the twelfth day in a row, Greece is battling fires.The largest ever recorded in the European Union», a department in the northeast of the country, in Evros, on the border with Turkey.

The European Copernicus Observatory (EMS) reported that more than 81,000 hectares have burned, including a large part of Tatia National Park in Evros, which was announced on August 19.The largest ever recorded in the European Union», pointed out Tuesday August 29, Balas Ujvari, the spokesperson of the European Commission.

“Only seven forest guards manage 35,000 hectares”

According to the European Commission, the European Union sent 11 planes and helicopters to Greece to help with 407 firefighters. Last week, near Alexandroupoli, the capital of Evros, 20 people were found burned, mostly migrants, including two children.

According to Greek firefighters, four explosions are problematic in Evros, and the fire outbreaks have led to the evacuation of the village of Kotronia. This is the largest single wildfire since 2008, EMS said. The burned area is the size of a city the size of New York, and a third of Tadiya’s forest has been destroyed, according to the center-left Ta Nea newspaper.

The Daily also highlights the shortage of personnel to fight these serious fires, which is increasing with climate change: “ For example, only seven forest rangers manage 35,000 hectares in Mount Burns.», near Athens.

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“Irreversible Disaster”

Dimitris Stamatopoulos, an environmental activist, was quoted by Ta Nea as saying, “A new national plan is needed to strengthen forest services and prevention through better forest management“. On social networks, the Association for the Protection of Biodiversity of the Region published impressive photos “avant“and”After» The Tadiya forest fire is protected by the European Natura 2000 network and known worldwide as a refuge for vultures.

Alexandros Dimitrakopoulos, a professor specializing in forest fires, told the Mega TV channel that “Irreversible disaster». «It will take years to regenerate these unique forests. Even in 100 years, we may not rediscover this biodiversity“, he noted.

The Greek government on Tuesday announced a series of measures for areas affected by the fires. Environment Minister, Theodoros Skilakakis, announced compensation for growers, farmers and residents who lost their flood protection works and homes. Like countries around the Mediterranean, Greece has been in the grip of numerous fires this summer, so far burning 120,000 hectares, the Greek National Observatory estimates — three times the annual average since 2006, EMS notes.

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