Rain in wildfire-ravaged areas of Greece helps “better the situation”
According to a local mayor, Thursday overnight rain in wildfire-ravaged areas of Greece areas helped “better the situation”, but hundreds of firefighters were still battling the wildfires and flare-ups.
Fires fanned by Greece’s most severe heatwave in decades— which authorities blame on climate change — have burned almost 100,000 hectares, leaving three people dead, hundreds homeless, thousands forced to leave, and economic and environmental destruction in their path.
On Thursday morning, a new fire broke out in a wooded region of Aspropyrgos, 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of Athens.
After weeks of unseasonably punishing warm temperatures sometimes exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), Thursday’s forecast was for a cooler 33 degrees Celsius.
Falling temperatures and overnight rain in Evia, the Peloponnese, and central Greece have helped to “better the situation,” according to Stathis Koulis, the mayor of Gortynia.
Gortynia’s village, located 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Athens in a hilly area of Arcadia, has become the major focus in the Peloponnese, with wide ravines providing a challenge to firefighters.
Over the last several days, 20 communities in the region have been evacuated, and 680 firefighters, including more than a hundred from France, and five water-dropping planes have been relentlessly battling the flames.
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