top of page

What Is Happening With The Wildfires In Greece?

K. Tsakalidis. Source: Kathimerini, (2021, August 10). The reaction of an elderly lady (Ms. Panagiota) who reacts as the wildfire reaches her house in the village of Gouves.


Since July 2021, countries across the northern hemisphere are facing some of the worst wildfires that have been recorded in years. North America, Russia, Italy, Turkey, and Greece are some of the more affected states, probably because of their climate; hot and dry conditions allow fires to spread more intensely. Indeed, this month, Europe's Mediterranean countries had to deal with one of the worst heatwaves for the last decades. Remarkable is that, according to official statistics, the temperature in northern Greece on Aug. 4 reached 47.1°C, when Europe's highest record is 48°C. Fires hit the residential areas in the north and center country, leading the Government to request the evacuation of the villages. Nightmarish were the weeks that followed; over 145 wildfires were raging across Greece since Aug. 3 which means that more than one million square miles had burned.

Source: BBC, (2021, August 09). More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the island of Evia by ferry.


Forest fires are a common occurrence in Greece during the summer months. However, the climate change with the unprecedented heatwave seems to make it even more difficult to extinguish them quickly. Also, the fact that, in Greece, many nuclear fronts broke out at the same time (in Parnitha, in Evia, and in Peloponnese including, Arkadia and Olympia) led to the disbandment of the fire forces. As a result, firefighters were struggling to keep fires at bay and, many villages have been evacuated. In Evia, many residents and organizations complained that during the first 2 days of the fire, they had no help from aircraft since the forces were engaged in the fire in Attica. According to BBC news, in Evia, more than 2,000 people have been evacuated via ferry, when ten ships are waiting at Pefki, on the north side of the island, ready to evacuate more people if it was needed.