The fires in Greece are “under control”, announce the firefighters | European | D.W.

The fires that have ravaged more than 100,000 hectares in Greece since the end of July have been brought under control, a firefighter spokesman told AFP on Friday (08/13/2021). “Since yesterday (Thursday) there are no longer any major active fronts, only scattered outbreaks,” said the official, attributing this improvement to recent rains and lower temperatures. Firefighters, deployed by the hundreds in critical locations, remain on alert due to the risk of recurrence of fires on the island of Euboea, the place most affected by the flames, and in the region of Arcadia, in the Peloponnese, according to the same source.

Over the weekend, strong winds are expected, which can cause the flames to spread quickly, said Civil Protection spokesman Spyros Georgiou. The international reinforcements remain on site and “contribute to the surveillance of the perimeters of the burned areas of Euboea and Arcadia, which extend over several kilometres”, added the spokesman. “A lot of them asked to stay,” Georgiou said.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it was an unprecedented environmental disaster that he attributed directly to climate change. Additionally, Mitsotakis pledged hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild, reforest and protect the country from flooding, as well as an increase of 1.7 billion for civil protection. Funds “will begin to release in a few days…and will be higher than before for everyone who has been affected” by the fires, he told media on Thursday.

The prime minister’s office also announced a series of small cabinet changes on Friday, following the catastrophic fires, which razed more than 100,000 hectares in Greece in just over a week. Most of the changes relate to positions close to the Prime Minister, which will give him more control over the management of the recovery of areas affected by the fires, and do not affect any of those directly responsible for managing the devastating fires.

lgc (afp/efe)

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