Fire service cleared over blaze on Evia

An internal investigation has found that the fire service was not at fault for failing to contain a wildfire earlier this month in the Lichada area of Evia that ravaged a forest in the island’s northwest and forced the evacuation of dozens of French tourists from a resort. Sources revealed on Saturday that the probe, which was launched at the request of Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, found that the blaze was caused by sparks from an electricity pylon and was fanned by strong winds that made it impossible for firefighters to control the fire. However, the results of the probe contradict the view of Lichada community leader Stathis Karanikolas, who claims that firefighters left the scene after three or four hours, allowing the fire to rekindle and spread rapidly.