Large fire on Corfu partially curbed

A wildfire in the region of Apraos in northern Corfu ravaged several hectares of forestland on Friday but local firefighters managed to bring it under partial control by the early afternoon.

Another blaze that broke out on Thursday in the area of Loutses on the Ionian island was finally extinguished on Friday after razing around three hectares of forestland.

A fire that broke out on a farm in the Cretan prefecture of Rethymno on Thursday was still burning on Friday as rising temperatures, strong winds and tinderbox dry conditions hampered firefighters in their efforts to douse it. Water-dropping planes were dispatched to assist the efforts on the ground.

A fire in Aghios Nikolaos, on Zakynthos, had been virtually extinguished by the early afternoon, local authorities said.

A total of 74 fires have been reported across the country in the past 24 hours and the national fire service is expected to remain busy over the weekend as sweltering temperatures are set to rise even more, reaching 40 degrees Celsius in parts, with no sign of winds easing.

In a related development Friday, Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis heralded the recruitment of an additional 4,000 firefighters to boost the understaffed service.