Village evacuated in northeastern Greece as wildfire threatens national park


The village of Lefkimi in northeastern border region of Evros was evacuated on Friday as a fire raged at a nearby pine forest, the Fire Department said.

The flames are threatening the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park, one of the most important natural environments on European and international level, hosts three out of the four vulture species of Europe (the Black Vulture, the Griffon Vulture and the Egyptian Vulture) and is home to the only colony of black vultures (Aegypius monachus) in the Balkans.

Large plumes of black smoke were visible from Egnatia Odos — the large motorway connecting the eastern Greek–Turkish border at Kipoi to the western port of Igoumenitsa.

Evros’ Deputy Regional Governor Dimitris Petrovits, said the fire is “out of control” in the northern side of the settlement.

Local media reported that the blaze broke out on Friday afternoon behind a local army camp in the Baltza stream.

A large contingency of ground and air forces assisted by the Armed Forces have been deployed to put out the flames.