Firefighters continued their battle against forest fires on the Greek island of Evia, which has been plagued by fires for a week.
Village after village in the north of the Greek island is being besieged by flames.
The workers fought during the night, when there is no air support, to prevent the fire from reaching the city of Istiaia, according to the Greek news agency ANA.
And on Monday the fighting continued on the island 200 km east of Athens.
Greek Deputy Minister of Civil Protection, Nikos Hardalias, had said on Sunday that “another difficult night” will be lived on the island.
Among the 500 firefighters deployed on the island are about 200 from Ukraine and Romania, reinforced by 17 water bombers and helicopters, according to the Greek firefighting services.
But air assets are experiencing “serious difficulties” due to turbulence, thick smoke and limited visibility, Hardalias said Sunday.
Giorgos Kelaïtzidis, deputy governor of Evia, denounced, like many others, “insufficient” forces while “the situation is critical” on the island.
According to him, at least 35,000 hectares and hundreds of houses have been burned.
While most of the fires in Greece stabilized or subsided on Monday, the fire on Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, was the most worrisome and offered an apocalyptic picture.
One by one, dozens of villages were evacuated from their inhabitants as flames engulfed the first houses.
The villages of Kamatriades and Galatsades were to be the priority for firefighters on Monday.
“If the fire goes through there, it will be in a thick forest and difficult to extinguish,” firefighters said according to ANA.
Greece has been experiencing a wave of violent fires for nearly two weeks, helped by drought and scorching temperatures, which have left two dead and dozens injured in hospital.
On the outskirts of Athens, the fire that destroyed dozens of homes and businesses had been in remission since Sunday, but “the danger of a resurgence is high,” Hardals warned.
A fire in Crete has been brought under control, while the situation has stabilized in the Peloponnese, authorities said.
More than 56,000 hectares have been burned in the last ten days in Greece, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).
Some 1,700 hectares were burned on average during the same period between 2008 and 2020.