Fire service data show big drop in land destroyed by fire in 2013

The expanse of land razed by wildfires this year is more than 50 percent smaller than that charred by blazes last summer according to figures from the Greek fire service made public on Tuesday.

A total of 4,248 wildfires were reported between June and August of this year, burning 18,840 hectares of land. This is a reduction of 51.5 percent compared to the same three-month period in 2012 when 4,334 fires razed 43,070 hectares of land.

There were also 190 arson suspects arrested this year, a 108 percent increase from last year.

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias hailed the development.

“Despite the adverse conditions, 2013 saw a 100 percent improvement,” he said while addressing high-ranking fire service officials.

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