Wildfires continue as Greece cracks down on arsonists

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Firefighters continue to battle the flames throughout Greece, as Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Minister, Vassilis Kikilias announces on Thursday, acts of arson have added to the devastation in different areas of the country.

For the sixth day, the Alexandroupoli region wildfires have spread throughout homes and forests, causing evacuations of villages and of the city’s hospital.

According to Ekathimerini, the wildfires reached the city of Alexandroupolis in the northeast, in the northwestern fringe of Athens and into Parnitha national park.

The death toll rose to 20 people this week as the fires burn out of control for the second time this summer in Greece.

Greece’s Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Kikilias, said in a televised statement, arsonists are setting fires and are responsible for some of the blazes near Athens.

“Some … arsonists are endangering forests, property and above all human lives,” Mr Kikilias said.

“What is happening is not just unacceptable but despicable and criminal.”

Vassilis Kikilias. Photo: Enimerosi.

Nine fires had been set on Thursday morning in the area of Avlona, in the northern foothills of Mount Parnitha, the minister informed the public.

“You are committing a crime against the country,” Kikilias warned. “We will find you. You will be held accountable to justice.”

A 45-year-old man was arrested on Thursday by police on suspicion of arson for allegedly setting fires in the Avlona area, reported Ekathimerini.

Brave farmer determined to bring the animals to safety. Photo: EPA.

Supreme Court Prosecutor of Greece, Georgia Adeilini, launched a combined preliminary inquiry led by the prosecutor of first instance in Alexandroupoli. The investigation will probe the fires in the northeastern Evros region and reported instances of racially motivated violence against migrants.

These incidents have come to light following the tragic demise of 18 individuals in the Dadia forest.

According to Ekathimerini, Greek fire department spokesman, Ioannis Artopios, said in a statement there are 260 firefighters fighting the flames.

EU countries have also stepped in to aid Greece, with firefighters from Bulgaria, Albania, Romania and Czech helping with the Alexandroupoli fires.

Source: Ekathimerini

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