Greece on high alert for potential outbreak of fresh wildfires.
A heightened state of alert is in place across various regions of Greece due to the potential threat of more destructive wildfires caused by extreme temperatures and strong winds.
Southern Greece, particularly around Athens, has been issued with severe fire risk warnings as scorching temperatures near 40C (104F) persist this week.
Numerous fires ignited over the weekend, leading to the evacuation of thousands of residents.
One of the most severe fire fronts is located near the port city of Alexandroupoli, close to the northeastern border with Turkey.
These fires have been active for several days, prompting the evacuation of 13 communities near the city for the safety of its citizens, as stated by Greece’s fire service.
Fires are also raging in the eastern Rhodope region and the northern city of Kavala.
To aid Greek firefighters, France, Cyprus, and Romania have dispatched additional resources.
Tragically, at least one fatality has been reported as a consequence of these recent fires.
Local media have reported that an 80-year-old man collapsed while attempting to rescue his sheep from the flames in the central Boeotia region, north of Athens.
Although summer wildfires are a common occurrence in Greece, scientists attribute the escalating frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, to climate change.
Just last month, a series of wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes and other parts of the country forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
“Greece already had by far its worst July since 2008 in terms of wildfires,” the EU’s Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said on Monday.
“The burnt area is bigger and the fires are more intense and more violent, burning more area than before.”
A spokesperson for the Greek fire service, Ioannis Artophios, said the country is faced with “extreme phenomena” and that everyone needed to “adapt to this difficult situation.”
Greece is one of several European countries currently at extreme risk of wildfires, according to the EU’s climate monitoring service, Copernicus.
Fire crews have been battling a blaze on the Spanish island of Tenerife for almost a week, but the authorities there believe the worst is now behind them.
The fire has burned through thousands of acres of land and forced the evacuation of more than 12,000 people, according to the regional government.
Parts of southern France, meanwhile, could experience record-breaking heat in the coming days. Temperatures of more than 40C are expected in places including the Rhone valley.