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UPD Wildfires rage on Zakynthos, firefighters deployed from other regions

Four fire fronts have been raging on the island of Zakynthos after one more wildfire broke out in the south-west of the island Saturday afternoon. Due to the strong winds of up 6 Beaufort, the blaze in Agalas-Koiliomenou area spread quickly and went out of control.

Firefighters deployed from other parts of Greece managed to limit the fire in some parts of the area and save several summer houses.

Video: wildfire Agalas

Local media reported late on Saturday that the fire was near the village of Agalas. “Residents hoped the wind intensity decreases and changes direction to lead the fire away for the village.”

Video: wildfire Maries – Vrachionas mountain

Four wildfire fronts were in full development on Saturday, some of them burning since Friday noon. The blaze was raging all night and day.

A strong force of more than 70 firefighters have been battling all night, more firefighters from across Greece are to be deployed as strong winds with intensity of 5 Beaufort are expected by Saturday noon.

According to latest information (Sat 9:30 am), the fire front is burning on the ridge of Mountain Vrahionas above the village of Katastari in the northwest from the city of Zakynthos, just 2 km from the Ionian Sea coast. No settlement is reportedly at risk.

Image result for katastari

In the battle against the blaze on Zakynthos, there are currently 58 firefighters and fire trucks as well as a 16-man strong force on foot. A helicopter and an aircraft assist with water dropping.

Wildfires at the foot of Vrachionas Mt, near Katastari on Friday: Picture shot by locals and posted on social media – via imerazante.gr

11 fire trucks and one more force on foot are on the way to Zakynthos from Western mainland and Thessaly.

The fire in Volimes, 10km away from Katastari was reportedly extinguished on Friday.

Another wildfire in Maries-Stenitis has been reportedly demarcated, 21 firefighters are still struggling to extinguish the small burning places inside the burned area.

Wildfire over the village of Riza and Pigadakia.

According to zantepress24.gr, the blaze destroyed the mobile telecommunication antennas that were installed on top of the mountain.

Later on Saturday the fire in Pigadakia-Gyri was under control, a new front started to burn in the mountain area. Locals suspect ‘arson’.

The fire in Gyri was revived late Saturday evening.

The Greek Fire Service said Saturday morning that 47 forest fires broke out across Greece in the last 24 hours.

Wildfires have been raging across Greece in the last weeks, burning down thousands of acres of forest, low vegetation and agricultural land. It is a plaque that occurs every summer. Causes are  human negligence, high air temperatures and strong winds that quickly spread the fire out of control.

It needs some burning sun shines on a glass bottle left behind in the forest or the low vegetation land… and the wildfire is on. It can be a spark coming from a badly maintained power column, a cigarette, a brainless human who decided to burn some dry branches while wind is blowing… Or a lightning during a storm.

Wildfire warning for Saturday, 12.August 2017. Red: Very high risk, Yellow: high risk. Issued by the Greek Civil Protection.

All through the summer, the Civil Protection has been urging citizens to be cautious and avoid outdoors activities that can cause fires out of negligence. Such activities are: throwing of still burning cigarettes, set on fire debris like  dry grasses and tree branches, the use of machines and devices that produce sparks, the use of outdoor grills.

During this period the burning of grassland and weed fields is prohibited.

The Civil protection reminds that during the so-called fire-fighting period, the burning of grassland and fields is prohibited.

In case they see a wildfire, citizens should call the 3-digit phone number <199>.

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