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Local authorities cry “Arson!” as two more wildfires rage in Kefalonia

One more horror night for the island of Kefalonia after two wildfires broke out at the same time in Karavado and Pastra (Alimmatas) in the south of the island around 9 o’ clock on Thursday night. Firefighters and volunteers rushed to take the fire under control before it could reach houses and tourist facilities.

The operation continued all night with winds blowing in several directions to make the extinction more difficult.

Two water dropping aircraft and one helicopter joined the efforts in the early morning.

More than 36 wildfires have burned down hundreds of acres on Kefalonia, local authorities are convinced that they are caused by arsonists – especially because the fires break out at night.

“It is an undeclared war against arsonists,” deputy governor Panagis Draoukolognas told media on Friday morning. “It is clear that these wildfires are caused by arson,” he added.

Director of Civil Protection of the Ionian islands, “Vaggelis Andreatos, with a wildfire experience of more than 30 years said he noticed that the arsonists’ profile has changed. Stressing that the wildfires break out closer to villages, Andreatos said “they don’t just want to burn forests and houses, they target human lives.”

A resident uploaded a map of 3 attempts to set a fire in the area of Rahi (Leivatho). The first attempt was ten days ago, when the weather forecast was speaking of strong winds. “The winds did not arrive, locals managed to extinguish the fire before it spread. The second attempt was on Wednesday. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire at 1:30 am Thursday. The third attempt was on Thursday night.” The arsonist succeeded. Rahi was set on fire. The resident notes that all attempt took place at the same time, at 9:30 in the evening, when water dropping aerial means are not in operation.

The huge wildfire in Lourdas and Simotata on Wednesday night, had authorities evacuate locals and tourists.

Firefighters from other regions were deployed to Kefalonia to assist local forces.


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