ATHENS — There was heightened concern regarding the fire in Limni, Evia on Wednesday as conditions of very low visibility kept fire-fighting aircraft grounded early in the morning, as the fire burned on four fronts simultaneously.
Two pilots that attempted to fly over the burning area at first light were unable to see well enough to drop water, while a helicopter is now operating in the area.
There were reports of tension at a meeting of the coordinating body, while the Central Greece region governor Fanis Spanos and Mantoudi-Limni-Agia Anna Mayor Giorgos Tsapourniotis demanding immediate support from aircraft.
The regional authority is using drones to monitor conditions above the burning area and be able to ask the General Secretariat for Civil Protection to send aircraft as soon as they improve.
The fire appears to be moving in different directions, with the winds now pushing the flames back toward coastal areas. One front is at the village Kourkouli, the second is in Mandanika, their third was at Kafkala and moving toward Rovies and the four is at Vateri and is heading toward Limni.
The fire-stricken area is estimated to stretch over 2,000 hectares and contain a number of facilities, houses, tourist units and warehouses.
The fire brigade said that 95 fire fighters and four ground teams, 35 vehicles and two aircraft were sent to put out the blaze, with the two aircraft having to withdraw due to poor visibility. Assistance is also being provided by volunteers and local authority water tankers and machinery.
Based on the report given at the coordinating meeting, 10 houses were burned in Sipiada and another six in Chronia as well as others in the surrounding area and villages.
"We are talking about an absolute disaster and no one know what will happen in the next few hours as there are no aircraft to assist," said Limni Deputy Mayor Argyris Liaskos, talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
He spoke of dozens of burnt homes in villages and coastal regions that the fire passed through, as well as burnt warehouses and farming facilities, where people had lost their livelihoods.