Over 23,000 hectares razed in fires this season

Over 23,000 hectares razed in fires this season

Greece’s fires burnt 23,500 hectares of forest this season, slightly lower than the annual average of 27,500 over the past decade, according to an estimate from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) made public by the Greek branch of the World Wildlife Fund on Monday.

The southern island of Kythira, Kalamos, a coastal resort area northeast of Athens, eastern Mani in the Peloponnese, and the holiday island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea were most badly affected by fires this summer, according to the same data.

Reacting to the report, the head of WWF Greece, Dimitris Karavellas, warned that “the toll leaves no room for complacency, especially considering that [authorities have] effectively failed to resolve any of the chronic problems facing our forests.”

Although suggesting that the vast majority of fires in Europe are caused by people, EFFIS warned that the hot and dry conditions induced by climate change result in more severe blazes and a higher frequency of small fires growing to become uncontrollable.  

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