Greece: A forest fire threatens a large olive grove in the center of the country

Greece: Wildfire threatens large olive grove in central Greece


Eleven water bombers, a dozen helicopters and more than a hundred firefighters fought against a violent forest fire on Tuesday which threatens the olive grove of Amfissa, one of the most important in the center of Greece, we learned from the fire department. 

The fire has already burned 300 hectares of agricultural land and 900 hectares of brushwood, told the media Yannis Artopios, spokesperson for the fire department. 

Located at the foot of Mount Parnassus and extending to the Gulf of Corinth, the olive grove of the town of Amfissa, capital of the prefecture of Phocis (or Fokida) and 280 km north of Athens, includes hundreds of thousands of olive trees, some of which are century-old trees.

The fire broke out on Monday afternoon near the village of Sernikaki, 15 km from the ancient archaeological site of Delphi (4th century BC). our era) without however threatening it, according to the authorities.

Fanned by strong winds of up to 70km/h, the fire quickly spread to the Amfissa olive grove and a large fire brigade was immediately sent to the scene to fight the flames and an investigation was opened. to define the causes of the fire.

Dozens of small and medium forest fires have broken out in recent days in Greece, having burned mainly brush and forest.

Civil Protection warned last weekend that due to strong winds and temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius “the risk of fires was very high” this week in some areas.

In Western Peloponnese, a fire that broke out on Sunday in the prefecture of Ilia “has not yet been contained”, an official from the fire department's press office told AFP on Tuesday. 

In the eastern Peloponnese, near the village of Kranidi, a forest fire also broke out on Monday and a hotel had to be evacuated as a precaution.

“Fifty-two fires of forest have declared themselves the last 24 hours across the country”, indicated Monday evening Yannis Artopios stressing that the fire service was on the footing of war.

Last summer Greece and especially the island of Euboea, near Athens, had been hit by scorching temperatures and violent forest fires, which had ravaged 103,000 hectares and killed three people. The authorities had attributed the disaster to climate change, but environmental NGOs had noted shortcomings in the prevention system.