The wildfire burning in Villia, western Attica, has a lot of scattered pockets and rekindlings, the Fire Brigade said on Tuesday evening.
Airplanes and helicopters from the first light drop water on the fire pockets, burning in a pristine pine forest, within a perimeter of several kilometers.
Helicopters and airplanes are operating in the area – including Russia’s two Ilyushin and the Beriev-200 water-dropping large airplanes – but the forest is dense and inaccessible by ground forces, and the pockets of fire hard to control.
The other large fire of Greece in Lavreotiki, eastern Attica, has receded abd been delineated but there are also a lot of rekindlings. Such a rekindling at the Sinderina village was dealt with through the two Ilyushin that were already in the air, and after receding is expected to be put out.
Citizen Protection Min. on wildfires in Villia, Lavreotiki
The response of firefighters was immediate, Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chryssochoidis said during a live brieifing on the fires in Villia and Lavreotiki, the east Attica region that includes Sounio, on Tuesday evening.
Responding to press reports, he said the Beriev-200 water-dropping plane from Russia was not used from the start because it was on scheduled maintenance. “The specific aircraft had completed 50 hours of flight and was on scheduled maintenance since August 13 and 06:08, and this maintenance check became even stricter because of an accident in Turkey involving a similar aircraft.”
At Villia, western Attica, firefighters dealt with multiple rekindlings on Tuesday, he said, while the one in Lavreotiki is delimited, but has small pockets of fire within its perimeter.
“In regard to support by air in the two fires yesterday, we would like to inform you that there were 19 airplanes and helicopters at Lavrio, and 21 in Villia.”
A total of 50 new fires broke out in Greece on Tuesday, and added to those already burning, firefighters had to deal with a total of 98 wildfires, he said.
The firefighting forces will remain in high numbers at Lavreotiki overnight, he said, while in Villia things looked better, with small active fronts within its perimeter. Polish firefighters and the army is assisting the large forces there, he added, including the mobile operations center ‘Olympos’.
Both fires are being coordinated by Fire Brigade Chief Stefanos Kolokouris, while all forces will remain on guard overnight.
He said that the dry weather conditions and high temperatures will continue over the next few days and everyone should be on alert over the risk of fire.