Two major fires engulfed forested areas in the northern part of the island of Chios Friday – barely a month after a blaze burnt large tracts of mastic tree plantations in the island’s southern part – injuring four people in the village of Sidirounta, which was evacuated.
According to reports, one fire broke out between Sidirounta and the area of Metohi, while the other began in the forest of Apsiles.
The blazes appeared to be under control late Friday afternoon, but strong northeasterly winds kept authorities on standby. Forty firemen, 28 vehicles, five helicopters, two airplanes and 67 volunteers were taking part in the effort.
“The situation is very serious,” Regional Governor Christina Kalogirou told Kathimerini, adding that the strong winds remained a serious cause for concern. “Our aim was to protect residential area, but the strong winds would fan the flames each time we [thought we had them] under control,” she said.
Three women and one man suffered burns after the fire entered Sidirounta. One of them, a 64-year-old woman suffered burns to 75 percent of her body after she tried to escape with her two children. She fell as they were running to her car parked outside her house and was surrounded by the flames.
Her daughter suffered burns to 40 percent of her body, while her son escaped with minor burns. Another woman, 49, also suffered severe burns after panicking and getting trapped in her home. All three women were airlifted to the KAT hospital in Athens.
“We decided to transport the three women to a specialized hospital in Athens so they can receive the best possible care,” Eleni Voutierou, the manager and head doctor of Chios hospital, told Kathimerini.
Fires also raged in other parts of the country, in Aspropyrgos, Menidi, Mesolongi and Halkidiki. No residential areas were threatened and all of the fires were brought under control Friday afternoon.