Plans to allow emergency crews to conduct prescribed burns to slow wildfires and moderate fire behavior are in the cards.
A decision on the conditions and parameters under which such operations can be authorized is expected to be signed by the civil protection and environment ministers next week. The final text was recently submitted for approval to the general secretary for civil protection, Vassilis Papageorgiou, and Fire Service Chief Alexis Rapanos.
The plan prescribes the employment of two different techniques: A backfire is a fire that is intentionally set in the path of an oncoming fire to stop it, while a burnout operation is defined as igniting fuel within the established containment lines.
The operations are to be carried out by a new forest commando unit comprising 590 specially trained firefighters split into six divisions based in Elefsina, Thessaloniki, Iraklio, Lamia, Ioannina and Patra.