Greek fire services localize massive wildfire west of Athens

Moscow, May 24 (Agency) The forest fire that has continued for almost a week west of Athens has now receded to scattered isolated hotbeds, the Greek Fire Department said on Monday. The blaze has ravaged over 7,000 hectares of land, including 4,100 hectares of forest. “The fire that broke out in the evening of Thursday May 19 2021 in the Schinos, Loutraki and Corinth area is in recession with scattered active burning spots,” a statement read.

A total of 278 firefighters, 89 fire trucks, 10 rough terrain groups from the military, a special mechanized unit for the fire operations, a mobile operational center called Olympus and two firefighter aircraft were mobilized to combat the fire. Volunteer firefighters, water carriers and local government equipment were also brought to the scene. The fire was caused by the burning of branches in an olive grove in dry and windy weather. Hundreds of local residents were evacuated and the smoke from the fire reached Athens. On Sunday, government representatives visited one of the affected areas on behalf of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“There are many actions that need to be coordinated. For this reason, we have instituted, as you know, through the state aid bill, a permanent coordination mechanism, which will create the conditions for a speedy restoration first of all of the natural environment, but also of compensation to all those who have been affected,” Alternate Minister of Interior Stelios Petsas said in a statement. According to Petsas, the Ministry of Interior will provide all victims financial support amounting to 600 euros ($730) for basic needs, as well as 6,000 euros to replace the damaged household items. The Greek government has promised to arrange for housing assistance and rent subsidies for the victims. The restoration of infrastructure and the road network is also underway, according to a statement obtained by Sputnik.