Mainland Greece now also on fire as crews work tirelessly to contain blazes

Extremely high temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius, along with strong winds have seen disastrous wildfires now spread into central Greece, killing two people.

Although there was some hope that the situation may improve yesterday afternoon, a new wave of 61 blazes erupted around the country within a few hours.

The deaths of a woman and a 45-year-old shepherd were discovered, according to the fire department and state television ERT.

Volos, the regional capital of Thessaly, was in a hazardous scenario as scores of firefighters and 15 fire engines battled to put out the flames that threatened its industrial zone.

Officials ordered the evacuation of several settlements along the coast of Magnesia, north of Athens, as a precautionary measure.

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Another wildfire broke out near the city of Lamia, south of Volos, forcing more people to flee.

Firefighters, police, volunteers, and Magnesia locals worked diligently all night to put out the fires, resulting in three rounds of evacuations.

According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the first evacuation happened at 1.30am for the village of Melissatika.

Residents in Chrysi Akti Panagia, Velanidia, Marathos, and Kritharia were also asked to evacuate four hours later.

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The deadly wildfires that are currently tearing through the Greek island of Corfu have been blamed on arsonists, as thousands of locals and tourists have been forced to flee the fire ravaged island.

Corfu mayor Yorgos Mahimaris revealed on Monday (July 24) that arsonists was likely responsible for starting the fires, which have forced a huge number of people to evacuate.

Mr Mahimaris came to this conclusion after visiting three areas on Mount Pantokratoras where the fires started. He told Sky News: “There’s a human hand in this.”

Theofanis Skembris, deputy mayor of North Corfu, supported this viewpoint, noting that four fires started “simultaneously”.

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Elsewhere on the island, other residents were quick to point to human involvement in the fires.

Vasilis Sofitsis, the owner of a pool and garden company on the island, also highlighted that the fires are believed to have been deliberately started by arsonists.

According to him, the numerous fire fronts scattered across various locations cannot be attributed to mere accidents; instead, he suggests that deliberate actions are behind the widespread fires.

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.

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