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Lightning Sparks Fires On Greek Island Of Thassos

Heavy lightning sparked two fires on the Greek island of Thassos on Wednesday, the fire brigade reported. This follows a day after firefighters managed to control wildfires driven by unusually strong winds on two other islands. Over 32 firefighters, supported by 13 fire engines, one aircraft, and two helicopters, are currently battling the flames consuming […]

Heavy lightning sparked two fires on the Greek island of Thassos on Wednesday, the fire brigade reported. This follows a day after firefighters managed to control wildfires driven by unusually strong winds on two other islands.

Over 32 firefighters, supported by 13 fire engines, one aircraft, and two helicopters, are currently battling the flames consuming forest land on two fronts on Thassos, located in the northern Aegean Sea, 306 km (190 miles) north of Athens. Additional reinforcements from the nearby city of Kavala are expected to arrive during the day.

Scientists attribute the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in Greece in recent years to climate change, often disrupting the summer tourism season as millions visit the country’s islands.

While rainfall would usually be beneficial in regions that have been dry for months, the accompanying lightning exacerbated the situation on Thassos.

Greece’s civil protection service has issued warnings for more extreme weather on Wednesday and Thursday, predicting storms with high lightning activity and hail, primarily affecting central and northern Greece.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned earlier this week of a perilous summer of wildfires due to a prolonged drought and unusually high winds for the season.

Last year, wildfires in northern Greece resulted in the deaths of 20 people and forced 19,000 to evacuate the island of Rhodes.

To detect fires early, Greece is increasingly utilizing drones to monitor forest areas.

From July to September, around 240 firefighters from countries including Bulgaria, Malta, Moldova, and Romania will bolster Greece’s firefighting efforts, according to a statement from the civil protection ministry released on Tuesday.

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Greek islandLightningTDGThassosThe Daily Guardian