Greek Wildfires: Three More Villages to Be Evacuated in Northern Evia

Αssociated Press

Flames burn a forest during a wildfire in Kourkouloi village on the island of Evia, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Thodoris Nikolaou)

ATHENS --The region of Central Greece on Thursday announced that the villages Aghia Anna, Kerasia and Ahladi in northern Evia must be evacuated due to the raging fire in the area.

The battle with the flames continued for a third consecutive day in north Evia on Thursday, where various fronts had joined to form three massive fire fronts moving in different directions and moving toward the sea.

The effort was focused around Dafni and the village of Kehries, whose evacuation was ordered early on Thursday. Local residents remained to assist fire-fighters and volunteers to create fire breaks as many are intimately acquainted with the forest, from which they make a living collecting resin.

"It is a titanic battle that we are fighting together, men and machines, and which I believe we are fighting on good terms to win," said the Evia Deputy regional governor Giorgos Kelaiditis to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

He said that the massive front moving north above the village Skepasti toward Amelantes was crucial and where the efforts of fire-fighting aircraft were focused. "If it gets out hand there no one can predict where it will stop," he said.

Αssociated Press

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Kechries village on the island of Evia, about 144 kilometers (90 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Thodoris Nikolaou)

The western and northwestern front was burning out of control in dense forest while efforts are being made to contain the fire between the villages Drymonas and Koulouri by using a stream to create a fire break.

"We hope to succeed at that point because it is the last line of defence," Kelaiditis said, adding that the flames in Drymonas are huge and impossible to approach. "If the fire gets through at these points it will be very hard to contain it before it reaches the sea. Air assistance is essential. We absolutely need it," he added.

Grave problems are also caused by fires that rekindle in the burnt areas, many of which are dangerous and situated close to homes and populated areas.