Greece’s fires burnt 23,500 hectares of forest this so-called “fire season”, that is between May and September 2017. On the island of Zakynthos alone, more than 80 wildfires took place.
The number of burned hectares is slightly lower than the annual average of 27,500 over the past decade, according to an estimate from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) made public by the Greek branch of the World Wildlife Fund on Monday.
The southern island of Kythira, Kalamos, a coastal resort area northeast of Athens, eastern Mani in the Peloponnese, and the holiday island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea were most badly affected by fires this summer, according to the same data.
Zakynthos: more than 80 fires May-Sept 2017
Reacting to the report, the head of WWF Greece, Dimitris Karavellas, warned that “the toll leaves no room for complacency, especially considering that [authorities have] effectively failed to resolve any of the chronic problems facing our forests.”
Although suggesting that the vast majority of fires in Europe are caused by people, EFFIS warned that the hot and dry conditions induced by climate change result in more severe blazes and a higher frequency of small fires growing to become uncontrollable. [ekathimerini, wwf.gr]