Europe Sends Reinforcements To Fight Greece Wildfire

On Monday, authorities in Greece sent additional firefighting forces to the northeastern part of the country where a massive wildfire has been burning for nearly two weeks without abating, the Associated Press reported.

The wildfire, which has been raging along the Turkish border in the Evros and Alexandropoulis areas, was responsible for twenty of the 21 fire-related deaths last week.

Last Tuesday, 18 bodies were found near the city of Alexandroupolis. Another body was discovered last Monday in a forest nearby, while another was found on Thursday. Authorities believe that the dead are migrants who recently crossed into Greece from Turkey.

Another man was killed in a separate fire in central Greece while attempting to save his livestock from the advancing fire.

Currently, 474 firefighters, including reinforcements from other European countries, 100 vehicles, two helicopters, and seven planes are battling the blaze.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, which has destroyed vast areas of forest and prompted the evacuation of thousands.

The EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management System said on Sunday that over 77,000 hectares of land have been burned, making this fire one of the largest to hit a European country.

Conditions at another major fire that burned for days on the northwestern fringes of Athens appeared to have improved last Monday after burning homes and entering a nearby national park. The fire department reported that firefighters were still battling flare-ups.

The country has been plagued with daily outbreaks of dozens of fires as hot, dry weather combined with gale-force winds have whipped up flames and hampered firefighting efforts.

Last Monday, firefighters across the country were battling 74 wildfires, 27 of which broke out between Sunday and Monday evenings.

Arson is suspected for some of the blazes and several people have been arrested.

Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, and Sweden have supplied firefighting aircraft to fight the fires while dozens of firefighters from other European countries are on the ground.