Athens is in flames.
Similar to the Knysna fires last year, the Greek capital is reeling from the impact of forest wildfires that have spread rapidly, and the flames continue to rage on its outskirts.
According to a report by Mashable, two major fires have burned through pine forests east and west of the city, forcing thousands of residents and tourists to flee for their lives.
Unfortunately, the fires have already claimed 50 lives and have left at least 100 people injured, critically or otherwise.
Here’s a map of how big these fires are and how far they’ve spread:
That’s on Athens’ doorstep right now.
Per the report:
Greek authorities declared a state of emergency on Monday, AP reports, after what’s been called the deadliest fire season to hit Greece in over a decade — in 2007, more than 60 people were killed due to fires in the southern Peloponnese region.
Forest fires are common in Greece during hot, dry summers, according to the news service, with temperatures in the country recently reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Strong winds have fanned the flames, which, since Monday, have raged through small seaside towns and villages like Rafina, Mati and Kineta.
The fires have seen some trying to evacuate by fishing boats, navy vessels, and yachts, which has seen at least four people killed. Some major highways, like the National Road, have been closed or road-blocked.
Europe on fire! Greece – July 23, 2018
Huge forest fire near Athens……. National Road Athens to Patras right now. #WeDontHaveTime
Video by Giannis Labropoulos pic.twitter.com/URUlTUk6Eo
— We Don’t Have Time (@WeDontHaveTime0) July 23, 2018
The Daily Mail reports that the resulting smoke churning out from the fires has turned the skies over Athens orange:
More than 300 firefighters, five aircraft and two helicopters have been dispatched to tackle the fires head-on in the affected regions, according to a press statement by Athens fire chief Achille Tzouvaras.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2018
Greece has also reportedly sought international assistance from the European Union. The Spanish government says it has sent two amphibious planes to help.
Props to these brave men and women who are hard at work to quell these fires.
Also, this serves as another reminder of how hard our local firefighters work to protect us, so a big thanks from us all.
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