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Urgent preliminary investigation into the causes of the Rhodes fire

Judicial authorities on the island of Rhodes have launched an urgent preliminary investigation into the causes of the fire burning for 9th consecutive day.

The commander of the Fire Department, Nikitas Venios, and the head of the Dodecanese Forest Directorate, Katerina Balatsouka, were asked to provide explanations to the Dodecanese Appeals Prosecutor regarding the wildfire that has been raging in Rhodes since July 18, 2023.

The Deputy Prosecutor for Appeals requested information on how the fire started, what actions have been taken so far, what the current situation is, and why it is still burning after nine days.

For about two hours, the heads of the two services talked with the prosecutor, answering the questions that were raised – explaining, for example, that the fire broke out in a dense forest where there were many dry leaves, as a result of which it quickly spread.

They also referred to the actions taken to extinguish the flames over the nine days, the difficulties faced and the adverse conditions due to winds, morphology, etc.

According to sources, they reported in detail on the means used from the first day to try to extinguish the fire, as well as to the issue of fire breaks. That is, whether fire break zones had been created, whether the envisaged forest protection measures had been observed, etc. The same sources said that fire break zones had been cleared in areas of the island over the previous period, while similar actions were also taken during the fire.

It is worth noting that the head of the Rhodes Primary Prosecutor’s Office ordered an urgent preliminary investigation regarding the causes of the huge wildfire on Rhodes, as well as the reasons why it has been burning for so many days. []

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