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Greece Brings in More Teams to Battle Blaze Near Evros Border

EVROS – Wildfires have continued across Greece in a number of regions with another, near the town of Soufli by the Evros River border with Turkey needing reinforcements brought in to control it.

The fire was in the Lyra Dam area and was so massive that 291 firefighters, 65 vehicles, four aircraft and four helicopters were working to contain it, as it raged through the night into the morning of July 22.

More firefighting forces were sent on Friday to battle the raging wildfire, ANA reported. Ten firefighting aircraft and six helicopters, two of them military, were dropping water while strong firefighting forces were operating on the ground.

The fire front is now moving west and within the National Park of Dadia, where the landscape is rocky and uneven, with sheer cliff faces that make the fire inaccessible from the land. At the same time, an effort is underway to broaden the firebreaks in order to halt the fire’s course, the acting head of Evros Forests Petros Anthopoulos explained.

The task was daunting because of the flammability of the pine trees where fire can snap between them in an instant and hop-scotch whole areas before firefighters can react and have to scramble.

Armed forces personnel were also sent to assist the firefighting operation at Soufli, with four Canadair aircraft, two PZL aircraft, two Chinook helicopters, six bulldozers and one loader, as well as a 32-member Defkalion special team.

The Fire Service said that the wildfires that broke out in forested areas between the villages of Tragano and Varda, in the western Peloponnese, have been contained and that progress was being made against another in Agnada near there.

That came as officials were assessing the damage of the conflagration that for the second time in little more than a decade destroyed big swathes of Mt. Penteli in a northern Athens neighborhood.

Officials said that 15 houses were destroyed and many others were damaged and that 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land area was burned, with the possibility of arson being probed.

With the New Democracy government having promised it would be ready and there wouldn’t be a repeat of the disastrous wildfires of 2021 the Civil Protection Ministry and fire service officials were going over plans.

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