Wildfires burning Greece
Photo by Anasmeister on Unsplash
This year has already been a damaging one for wildfires in Greece with the most recent example being the large blaze on Mount Penteli in Athens’ northern suburbs that ignited on July 19th.
In the first few months of 2022, thirty forest fires were recorded in the country, a massive increase from the usual four. Those fires burned over 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of land compared to the average 37.5 (around 92 acres). (1)
This year confirms the general trend of increased frequency and intensity of wildfires and heatwaves in the country, which is aggravated with effects of climate change. This comes after a very destructive previous year in 2021, where Greece experienced multiple wildfires in conjunction with a historic heatwave for the country (highest temperatures reaching 47.1 °C).
It is expected that 2022 will break new records, according to the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), as the European Forest Information System (EFFIS) has registered a 750% increase of blazes in just the first 3 months of compared to the period of 2008 to 2021. Although the causes of above-mentioned fires are currently under investigation, they are usually caused by a combination of different factors. Nonetheless, wildfires are often sparked by human activity, accidental or otherwise, which are exacerbated by climate conditions - a perfect storm of high heat, dry weather, high wind. (2)
The fires forced thousands of people to flee as forests, agricultural land, homes and businesses burned. Greece's fire protection capabilities have been stretched to the limit, and the government, which appealed for international help, faced strong critique for its response. Although the government has blamed the disaster on the heat wave, Citizens Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis announced that a special prosecutor for organised crime cases was involved in a probe into the causes of the fires. (3)
Amplicam and its partner has launched a pilot detection system in Greece that will help identify wildfires and evaluate efficiency of the system in local conditions.
To learn more please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org and book a demo