Major fire that has wiped out 90 pct of mastic gum tree orchards in Chio’s villages

An additional 50 men from the armed forces and the fire brigade were sent as reinforcements to the Aegean island of Chios on Monday, to assist fire fighters in putting out a major fire that has already wiped out 90 pct of mastic gum tree orchards in some of the island’s villages.

Ten men from the army, navy and air force, respectively, as well as 20 from the fire brigade, took off from Elefsina air base just before 14:00 in a C-130 plane, heading for the island.

Meanwhile, the villages Elata, Vessa and Lithi in southern Chios have seen 90 pct of their mastic gum trees destroyed, while there is also extensive damage in Olympous, Mesta and the region between Vessa and Agios Georgios Sykousis.

Rural Development and Foods Minister Vangelis Apostolou is due to arrive on the island on Tuesday, accompanied by the head of the farmers’ insurance organisation, in order to visit the fire-stricken villages and assess the damage.