A Canadair CL-215 water bomber plane dropping a load pf water on a forest fire. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
04 Aug 2021

Thousands forced to evacuate in Greece as enormous wildfires threaten Athens

The forest fire near Athens has forced thousands of people to leave their homes. The temperature  in several places in Greece is approaching 40 degrees Celsius. Greece has asked for help from the EU and water bombers are coming to help from as far away countries as Sweden.

Greece has requested international assistance through the EU to put out the forest fires raging in the country.

Thousands leave their homes
There is currently an extreme heat wave affecting the Mediterranean continues, which is severely affecting their efforts fighting the many forest fires in several areas of southern Europe.  On Tuesday, thousands of Athens residents were forced to leave their homes and watch from a distance as the fires spread  towards the northern parts of the city.

500 firefighters, several helicopters and the Greek military have been deployed as of Tuesday. The latest to join their efforts is the Russian water bomber plane Beriev Be-200, reports AP.

In the suburb of Varybóbi, about ten houses have already been destroyed. Shops and holiday homes have been severely damaged.

Overuse of AC overloads the power grid
Several villages have been evacuated and the motorway connecting the capital with the northern and southern parts of the country has also been closed during particularly dangerous phases of the fire development.

Authorities now hope to be able to extinguish the fire before it reaches the more densely populated parts of the capital. Several other forest fires are affecting the southern parts of Greece, about 300 km from Athens. In several parts of the country, daytime  temperatures are approaching 40 degrees C / 104 F. 

The highest temperature recorded this week was 42 ​​degrees and according to AP,  unusually heavy use of air conditioners now also threatens to overload Athens' electricity grid.

Cover photo: (Above) A Canadair CL-215 water bomber plane dropping a load of water on a forest fire. Photo: Wikipedia Commons