The Greek Interior Ministry’s Civil Protection Agency issued a further alert on August 9, over the very high risk of fires on the islands of the north and south Aegean.
As temperatures sore again and vegetation continues to be tinder-dry, the risk of wildfires has increased dramatically and has already led to a number of devastating wildfires and loss of life across Greece.
Unlike many natural disasters, the majority of wildfires are caused by people and can be prevented by people!
Here are some tips on how you can help to prevent wildfires and what to do if you discover one.
- If camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling, or storing. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
- Do not discard cigarettes, matches, or any smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere in areas of vegetation. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
- In the coutryside, be careful where you park your vehicle, to prevent dry vegetation coming in contact with the hot exhaust pipe/catalytic converter, as many fires start this way.
- Do not leave any glass bottles, or broken glass laying around. Glass can focus the sun’s rays and start a fire.
- In Greece it is illegal to light BBQ’s outside of urban, or clearly designated areas in the summer months and totally illegal to light bonfires anywhere.
- Be advised that in Greece, the penalties are severe if you start a fire, even accidentally and can result in a prison sentence.
If you discover a fire…
- First contact the Greek emergency services on 112 (no national code needed for non-Greek mobiles). When you phone, try to clearly communicate where the fire is located, such as identifying nearby landmarks.
- If you can find any local inhabitants, also advise them of the fire and its location.
Below is the map of fire risk areas issued by the government today. The areas in orange are at the highest risk.