22 Aug 2023

18 dead bodies found in Greek forest fires - 64 fires flared up over the weekend



Greek firefighters have found 18 people dead in a forest in the northeastern part of Greece where a major wildfire has been burning for days, authorities said Tuesday.

Greek police activated the Greek Disaster Victim Identification Team to identify the bodies in the northeastern Alexandroupolis region, Ioannis Artopios, a spokesman for the fire department, said in a statement on TV.

Fires are raging across several fronts in the Evros region in Greece, fanned by high winds and temperatures which climbed above 40C / 104 F in several areas on Tuesday, the BBC reports.  A coroner and investigation team are heading to the scene near the Dadia forest.

No reports of missing people had been filed in the area. This leads authorities to believe that the bodies found may have been migrants coming from the nearby border crossing with Turkey, Artopios said, according to Fireengineering.com. 

A hospital in the city of Alexandroupolis had to be evacuated due to the fires.. Patients, including newborn babies and some who were in intensive care had to be moved. 




As new wildfires broke in the region of Alexandroupolis-Feres in Greece, the EU is deploying 2 rescEU firefighting planes based in Cyprus and 1 firefighting team from Romania via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

A heatwave is currently affecting Greece making conditions more difficult. 

According to the Commission Europe´s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations´ news article on Monday August 21,  56 firefighters and 10 vehicles should arrive in the country during Monday. 

In addition, one pre-deployed ground firefighting team from France is already operating in Greece as a part of the EU’s wildfire season preparedness plan.


8 villages evacuated on Saturday

Greek authorities evacuated eight villages near the northeastern border with Turkey on Saturday, where a large wildfire was burning out of control,  fanned by strong winds, according to ABC News. 

The fire service said more than 130 firefighters, 14 water bomber planes and three helicopters were working to contain the fires. 

The forest fire broke out early Saturday near the village of Melia, east of the coastal port city of Alexandroupolis.


The burned area of the Greek fires, August 21, 2023

One dead near Evros

One person was found dead in the northeastern region of Evros on Monday, according to Reuters. 

A total of 64 wildfires erupted across Greece in the last 24 hours with authorities ordering the evacuation of several communities in the region of Evros, near the Turkish border. 

More than 200 firefighters and 18 aircraft were battling the wildfire which was burning for the third day in the region. 

"Τhe next 48 hours are extremely critical due to the extreme weather conditions," fire brigade spokesperson Ioannis Artopios said in a briefing.




Original post from August 19

A large fire is burning in Alexandroupoli between the settlements of Agnantia and Anthia. Fire brigades are fighting to contain it under adverse conditions, with strong winds blowing over the weekend. 

Greek fire authorities are now fearing another uncontrolled wildfire situation as a new heatwave is approaching. 

According to Protothema.gr,  the fire in Aetochori and the village of Pefka has reached the first residential structures and material damage has occurred to both houses and cars. The fire has also reached the village of Agnadia, where it has been reported close to residential structures.