Police believe large fires burning in Central Greece may have been started deliberately. On Wednesday?
Police believe large fires burning in Central Greece may have been started deliberately. On Wednesday (24 August) hundreds of people were still trying to bring the blazes under control after they had caused extensive damage.
Big fires, still on, have put in danger tens of villages and monasteries in North Oebea (where the population is being evacuated), as well as Mount Olympus, Mount Parnassus and Mount Taygetus areas. Only in Oebea, the fires devastated 60.000 streams (acres) of forest and cultivated area, burning houses and endangering villages. Gendarmerie, villagers, fire-brigades army personnel and fire-extinguishing planes struggle for days now to put the fires under control
SYNOPSIS: The fires have so far destroyed thousands of acres of forest and cultivated land and killed hundreds of deer, as well as threatening several villages. In the north Oebea area people have been evacuated from their homes, and the flames have claimed several large fruit orchards.
Firemen, soldiers, police and villagers have been called out to fight the blaze. Meanwhile police speculate that arsonists want to destroy forests to allow the sale of the land for building purposes.
The government ha passed legislation allowing for severe penalties for arsonists after a series of forest fires in different parts of Greece. So far this year 66,000 acres (26,00 hectares) of forest land have been destroyed by fire. Drought and high temperatures have aggravated the situation.