Expert committee report on wildfires provokes criticism


A day after an independent committee of experts issued a damning report on the state’s response to wildfires over the years, a retired fire service officer who compiled a separate report into last summer’s disastrous fire in eastern Attica said the committee should have focused on the causes of the July blaze which killed 100 people. 

In comments to Real FM, Andrianos Gourbatsis said the committee’s report “did not talk at all about what was to blame for the tragedy at Mati,” referring to the coastal town that was the worst hit by the disaster. He also took issue with the fact that only one of the six committee members is a fire service expert. 

The head of the committee, Johann Georg Goldammer, said its aim was not to focus on any particular fire but to propose strategies for the future.

The committee, which was set up at the request of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras following the July fires, issued a 156-page report on Thursday, highlighting the lack of a comprehensive national strategy to prevent and respond to forest fires and a lack of effective cooperation between different government bodies.