Residents of a southern suburb of Athens returned to their homes on Sunday after firefighters managed to bring under control a wildfire that had forced them to evacuate the day before, Ekathimerini reports.
Greece’s Deputy Civil Protection Minister, Evangelos Tournas, told local media that despite the wildfire now being under control in parts of the Voula and Glyfada regions, firefighters will remain on alert in the area.
“They will remain as long as it is needed, while aircrafts will continue dropping water protectively,” Tournas told a media briefing.
The fire started in the Ano Glyfada area on Saturday afternoon and was quickly spread by strong winds to Ano Voula, while two more fires broke out in Vari and Kouvara.
According to AMNA.gr, the damage recorded so far is restricted to one area in Ano Voula where 10 homes have sustained damage. There were no reported deaths.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister, Christos Stylianides, warned this was the start of what promised to be a “hard summer” ahead in Greece.
“We are still at the start and the aim is to mitigate the repercussions of all the new phenomena arising from the climate crisis,” Mr Stylianides said.
Greece experienced its most severe heatwave in decades last summer, which authorities blamed on climate change. Fires destroyed more than 100,000 hectares of forest and farmland, the country’s worst wildfire damage since 2007.
More than 200 firefighters and technical equipment provided by European Union countries will soon deploy to Greece to help boost the battle against large wildfires in the country this year.