Sunday, August 14, 2022

Violent fires in Greece, on Tenerife – and in the United States

ATHENS/Santa Cruz de Tenerife (DPA) – A massive fire broke out uncontrollably on Sunday in the island of Lesbos and in Dadia National Park in northeastern Greece.

On Lesvos, residents of the village of Vra on the south side of the island have been urged to leave the village. Homes and cars went up in flames. In Spain, with the addition of Tenerife – the situation became easier.

The smoke over Lesvos was so strong that it could even be seen from space. This was announced on Twitter by Copernicus, the European Earth Observing System, and posted the corresponding satellite image. Meanwhile, in northeastern Greece, countless hectares of Dadia National Park burned down. The army and forest personnel tried to cut corridors in the deodar forests thus preventing further spread of the flames. During this, more than 320 firefighters were deployed along with 68 fire tenders.

According to the fire department, 141 fires were registered across Greece within 24 hours. According to Civil Defense, almost all available firefighting helicopters and aircraft are currently in use across the country.

Among other things, a fire broke out at a substation of the State Electricity Company near the town of Larissa in Thessaly. At the same time, Athens on the western side of the capital would have to be retaken. For Monday, the fire department still assessed a high to very high risk of fire. Meteorologists declared high temperatures of up to 40 degrees and a drought by early August.

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Concerns in Tenerife

Although the situation returned to normal in Spain, the spate of wildfires never ended. A fire broke out on Sunday in the Canary Islands of Tenerife, popular with tourists. As the regional president said in the night, the fire has destroyed more than 2150 hectares. 585 residents of La Guancha and four other communities to the north have been evacuated.

About 150 emergency services have made great progress in fighting the fires recently, also due to the high humidity and weak winds. The announcement of a rise in temperature of up to 38 degrees on Sunday and Monday is worrying. “So we have to get the fire under control as quickly as possible,” Torres said.

In combination with drought and strong winds, which have lasted for months, the heat has favored the outbreak and spread of many fires, according to Spanish weather service Emet. 2022 is already the most devastating forest fire year for Spain since records began. In the first seven months, the flames destroyed some 2,000 square kilometers – about 80 percent of the Saarland area.

Meanwhile, about 350 people were safely evacuated near Gorizia (Gorizia) on the border with Slovenia in Italy. The reason was the fire in Slovenia, which could spread to Italy due to strong wind, the fire department said on Sunday night. Savogna d’Isonzo is the place to be affected. About 2,000 firefighters and volunteers doused the flames in the Slovenian karst region on Sunday. The unexploded armament of World War I made it necessary to focus on fighting fire from the air so as not to unnecessarily endanger firefighters on the ground. Between 1915 and 1918, Austria-Hungary and Italy fought in the Isonzo Valley and the Julian Alps. The former war zone is now mostly in Slovenian karst.

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Great Britain also caught fire

Great Britain also caught fire: On Sunday, the fire brigade in London and the English county of Surrey controlled several major fires. Huge plumes of smoke developed at Hankley Common Nature Reserve in Surrey. Several wildfires also occurred in London, including those of Hayes and Thamesmeade. Around 100 firefighters were stationed near Epping Forest in north-east London. The fire that broke out there late in the afternoon was about the size of four football fields.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in the area affected by the rapidly spreading fire near the US National Park Yosemite. According to the Cal Fire Authority, the so-called Oak Fire, which covered about 48 square kilometers in the Mariposa district on Saturday evening (local time), destroyed ten buildings and damaged five others. About 2,700 homes are at risk from the fire that broke out on Friday afternoon. Thousands had to go to safety.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220722-99-114018/14

Nation World News Desk
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