Fire service faces 1,500 blazes every year, report says

Fire service faces 1,500 blazes every year, report says

Officials at the Agricultural Development Ministry confirmed over the weekend that a fire on Evia that was put out last week after burning for four days destroyed 2,700 hectares of forestland on the island.

The damage comes as the fire service struggles to tackle the higher incidence of wildfires that is usual in summer amid understaffing and cutbacks.

Wildfires burn an average of 50,000 hectares of farmland and forest in Greece every year.

According to a report compiled by the deputy commander of the Greek Fire Service, Adrianos Gourbatsis, 1.6 million hectares of land was burned in Greece between 1981 and 2014. The average expanse of land burned annually is 49,054 hectares while the average number of wildfires per year is 1,513.

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