Author: Florian Schmitz Jon Shelton

Is Greece ready for wildfire season?

Source(s): Deutsche Welle


It's already unseasonably hot for June and temperatures have been going up all across Europe. In Greece, people haven't forgotten the devastating wildfires that destroyed 75,000 hectares (185,320 acres) of forest in 2021, or the 2018 fires along the Attica coast that killed 102 in Mati.


And the fires have already begun this year. In early June, homes near the southern Athens suburb of Glyfada had to be evacuated. And on Euboea, Greece's second-largest island, flames have already licked their way to the outskirts of the village of Gaia.


A recent report published by the environmental organization gave poor marks to the Greek government: 83.5% of state funds for fire protection between 2016 and 2020 went to fighting wildfires, and only 16.5% went to preventing them. The United Nations, however, recommends investing 45% in fire prevention, 35% in firefighting and 20% in reforestation.


Greece has greatly increased its firefighting budget for 2022, and upped the number of available firefighting aircraft from 74 to 86. Furthermore, as a precaution, 250 firefighters from six EU countries, including Germany, have been called up as part of the European Civil Protection Mechanism.


Explore further

Hazards Wildfire
Themes Governance
Country and region Greece
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