Fire brigade issues fire warning after more than 130 fires break out in one day

A rash of more than 130 wildfires in 24 hours, between the early hours of Saturday and until 6:00 on Sunday morning, prompted Greece’s fire brigade to issue an announcement on Sunday asking people, especially farmers, for heightened vigilance and caution when using fire.

Most of the fires have been put out, with only five still burning on Sunday morning and none a cause of especial concern.

They include a fire that broke out in Avlona, Attica on Saturday afternoon, which is not yet under control, and is burning through forest in a ravine far from inhabited areas. Also still alight are two fires on the island of Crete, at Lira in Monemvasia and Riza, Xylokastro, burning forest and agricultural land.

The fire brigade attributed the rash of fires to the high temperatures for the season and strong winds, while warning that setting fires, either intentionally or through negligence, remains an automatically prosecutable offence during winter months as well. It advised people to avoid agricultural jobs involving fire in conditions that are favourable for fires spreading.