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Plane crashes while fighting wildfires in Greece

Plane crashes while fighting wildfires in Greece

The local fire brigade confirmed the news

A plane fighting wildfires in Greece has crashed this afternoon (25 July), according to the local fire brigade.

The aircraft went down near two villages in the island Evia - Platanistos and Karystos.

Fire service spokesperson, Yannis Artopios, told the AFP news agency that the Canadair-type water bomber with 'at least two people on board' crashed while fighting a forest fire in the south of the island.

A plane fighting wildfires in Greece has crashed in Evia this afternoon.
EPT News

An emergency response helicopter is said to be en route to the crash site to further assess the situation.

Temperatures have risen above 40C again in parts of Greece following more night-time evacuations from fires that have raged out of control for days.

The latest evacuation orders were issued on the islands of Corfu and Evia while a blaze on the island of Rhodes continued to move inland, torching mountainous forest areas, including part of a nature reserve.

Desperate residents, many with wet towels around their necks to stave off the scorching heat, used shovels to beat back flames approaching their homes, while firefighting planes and helicopters resumed water drops at first light.

Authorities said that more than 20,000 people have been involved in evacuations on the island, mostly tourists over the weekend, when fire swept through two coastal areas on the southeast of Rhodes.

More than 3,500 people were evacuated from Rhodes on Saturday (22 July) and another 1,200 were to be evacuated from three villages - Pefki, Lindos, and Kalathos.

Greece’s fire service says that the situation could yet deteriorate further because of the expected weather.

It has been reported that 'at least two people' were on board the plane when it crashed.
EPT News

The high temperatures are set to continue, with periods as high as 45 degrees expected in some parts of the country.

The European Union has sent 500 firefighters, 100 vehicles and seven planes from 10 member states, while Turkey, Israel, Egypt and other countries have also sent help.

“For the 12th day, under extreme conditions of heat and strong winds, we are fighting non-stop on dozens of forest fire fronts… The Greek Fire Service has battled more than 500 fires - more than 50 a day,” said Vassilis Kikilias, the minister for climate crisis and civil protection.

In Athens, authorities resumed afternoon closing hours at the ancient Acropolis as part of broader measures to cope with the high heat.

EU officials have blamed climate change for the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires across the European continent, noting that 2022 was the second-worst year for wildfire damage on record after 2017.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@aviationbrk/EPT

Topics: News, World News, Weather, Environment