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67 wildfires within last 24 hours across Greece as one more arsonist arrested

Sixty seven wildfires broke out from 06:00 a.m. Saturday until 06:00 a.m. Sunday, the Greek Fire Service announced today. Meanwhile, fire brigades and police have launched a manhunt against arsonists setting forests and agricultural land on fire either representing petty interests or due to  psychological reasons.

The majority of these 67 wildfires were extinguished or taken under control before spreading.

Currently, firefighters are operating in Blemenianous, Kyparissia, Peloponnese and in Kokkini on the island of Corfu.

The situation on the island of Kefalonia is causing concern as five separate wildfires broke out Saturday afternoon within a distance of a couple of hundred meters and within a time difference of just six minutes. Four of the fires occurred in Trapezaki at 6:30 in the afternoon, one in Karavado. The two areas are very close to each other, and became target of  what ti seems to be arson already on Thursday. Firefighters and volunteers operate in the area.

“It is arson aiming to cause harm,” the Commander of Kefalonia Fire Service said.

Firefighters still operate against the two fires in Karavado and Aleimatas of Thursday, although the fire fronts are not active. The wildfires in Lourdas-Simotata of Wednesday were taken partly under control on Saturday.

A wildfire broke out Sunday noon in low vegetation area in Legraina of Keratea in eastern Attica. 15 firefighters with 7 firetrucks have rushed to the area. Currently there is no danger for the houses in a nearby settlement.

According to state ERT TV and local Ilialive.gr, a fire truck has been trapped in a wildfire that broke Sunday noon in Zaharo, Ilia, Peloponnese.  Water dropping aircraft is struggling to extinquish the fire in the area around the fire truck.

Arsonist arrested in Preveza

Members of Fire brigades arrested a 33-year-old Greek man for causing two fires in agricultural land in Sousali in Preveza, northwestern Greece. the man is charged for two fires on August 7th and 19th. In a statement, the Fire Service said the man is charged with arson on purpose.

The man is the third arsonist arrested this week.

Turkish national questioned in arson case

Police on Saturday were questioning a Turkish national arrested the night before next to the Egnatia Highway in northern Greece allegedly trying to start a brush fire.

According to media, the suspect had parked his car close to the Aghios Nikolaos Tunnel and was spotted acting suspiciously by an oncoming motorist, who alerted police. Authorities came to the scene immediately and arrested him while he was trying to start a fire, according to sources.

The Turk, who is alleged to be in Greece legally awaiting the outcome of an application for asylum, is expected to face a prosecutor Monday.

He has arrived in Greece a month ago.

This may revive the old Greek conspiracy theory that Turkish agents set wildfires in Greece.

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One comment

  1. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    This Greek conspiracy nonsense is very tedious… Why would a Turk applying for asylum commit arson? The only possible explanation — as for Greek arsonists — is a mental condition or a strong financial motivation. In the first case, this would not imply that he is a “state agent”; in the second case, presumably the financial incentive would come from Greek landowners.

    As in all countries, arson boils down to two causes: loonies and money-grabbers. Greece has no shortage of either…