Wildfires in Greece force thousands to evacuate, some by ferry

The fires are occurring during the most severe heatwave in 30 years

1645 UTC, August 9, 2021

Greece Fires map
The icons on the map represent heat detected on fires by satellites on the Greek island of Evia as late as 1407 local time August 9, 2021.

Wildfires are burning through tens of thousands of acres on the Greek island of Evia, forcing some residents and tourists to evacuate by sea. Ferries are pulling up to resort beaches and dropping a ramp for people on foot to board.

The government ordered the evacuation of four villages in the northern part of the island, including Pefki which had been used as a temporary evacuation center.

And it is not just on Evia, the second largest island in Greece. Other blazes in the country have been forcing residents from their homes and destroying structures for more than a week. In some areas the fires have subsided, including a large blaze north of Athens and others in the Peloponnese region.

This is occurring during the most severe heatwave in 30 years in which temperatures have risen to 45C (113F) for days at a time.

The fires have led to two confirmed deaths, including a volunteer firefighter who died near Athens after being struck by a falling utility pole weakened by the fire, according to the Associated Press.

From NPR:

With its emergency responders overwhelmed, Greece has requested assistance from countries near and far. Several countries have already sent aircraft and firefighters, including France, Israel, Romania, Spain and the United States. The Navy Times reports that the U.S. Navy sent a reconnaissance plane late last week to assist efforts.

Greece is not the only country on fire. Amid a record heat wave, wildfires are also raging in Turkey, Lebanon and Italy. In Turkey, more than 500 square miles of coastal forest have been torched, and eight people have been killed. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated there.

The video below has scenes showing residents and tourists boarding a ferry that beached at a resort as a fire burns nearby.

ABC Australia has a synopsis of the wildfire situation in Greece:

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Wildfires in Greece force thousands to evacuate, some by ferry”

  1. Bill, is there any information out there regarding Europe’s wildland firefighting apparatus? From the pictures I’ve been able to dig up on the internet, their firefighters either look to be structural or some guy pulled off the street. Thanks.


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