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Greece wildfires leave blackened forests in their wake

Abandoned, blackened cars on the island of Evia, GreeceImage copyright
AFP

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Abandoned cars were left charred after flames ravaged through the forest

Fires have been raging through a “unique, untouched pine forest” on the Greek island of Evia on Wednesday as authorities fought to keep the flames under control.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from nearby villages as the fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday and ravaged through the dense forest.

“It’s a huge ecological disaster,” acting regional governor Kostas Bakoyannis told AFP.

More than 200 firefighters are helping to combat the blaze along with 75 fire engines, nine helicopters and seven planes, the news agency reports.

Italy and Spain have offered additional aircraft to help dump water on the forests in an attempt to douse the flames burning through Greece’s second-largest island.

Through the branches of a tree, an aeroplane can be seen flying through smoke to drop water in an attempt to smother the blazeImage copyright
Reuters

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A plane flies through the smoke rising from the trees to drop water to try to smother the blaze

A house falls apart as flames rip through itImage copyright
EPA

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A house is torn apart by flames after residents were evacuated

A firefighting helicopter dropping water over a forest to calm the flamesImage copyright
AFP

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Firefighting helicopters have been dropping water over the pine trees

Newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis cancelled his summer holiday plans and acknowledged that firefighters had “given their all” to tackle the flames, often with little sleep and food.

The regional governor, Costas Bakoyannis, told Skai TV the situation seemed to be improving after “superhuman efforts” to control the flames on Tuesday night.

The European Union’s humanitarian commissioner, Christos Stylianides, said it “remains difficult”, but suggested they might be able to “to limit the ecological losses”.

Greece was devastated by wildfires in 2018 that tore through pine forests surrounding Athens, leaving 100 people dead.

Beehives sit amongst the charred woodland on the island of EviaImage copyright
Reuters

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Beehives sit amongst the charred woodland on the island of Evia

Smoke rises from a blackened road leading through a forest ravaged by fireImage copyright
AFP

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Smoke rises from a blackened road leading through a forest ravaged by fire

A lone tree-trunk remains on fire amid a blackened blackened forest following a fireImage copyright
Reuters

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The trunk of a tree continues to burn amid the blackened forest

All pictures copyright.

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