Three injured in Greece’s first major wildfire in 2024

Athens, April 7 (UNI) Three people were injured during Greece’s first major wildfire of this year, which broke out on Crete island in southern Greece, according to Fire Brigade officers.

The fire erupted in a forested area on the outskirts of Ierapetra City, in the southeastern part of the island. According to a press release, 169 firefighters were deployed to battle the flames, which were fanned by winds up to 8 on the Beaufort scale blowing in the area. They were supported by four water-dropping helicopters. An elderly man was hospitalised in serious condition, while a female resident of a nearby settlement and a firefighter were slightly injured.

Authorities issued an emergency alert to about 300 residents of four villages to evacuate their homes as a precaution. On Saturday, a total of 71 wildfires broke out across the country, according to the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection. Greece suffers from many wildfires every summer due to high temperatures, heatwaves linked to climate change, and arsonists. Twenty people lost their lives in 2023 due to the wildfires.

Over 100 people died during the fire season in 2018. Officially, the fire season in Greece starts on May 1 and ends on October 31 each year. However, the weather in recent weeks has been unusually warm for spring, and authorities were on alert for wildfires. The thermometer reached 30 degrees Celsius on the mainland on Saturday, according to Greek meteorologists.

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