“At these difficult times, panicking is the worst thing you can do,” said Macedonia-Thrace Minister Theodoros Karaoglou. “We have to be calm, collected and coordinated, and citizens have to listen to authorities’ instructions.”
More than 100 firefighters, 40 fire engines, three water dropping airplanes and three helicopters were deployed in the effort to put out the blaze. Karaoglou describe the work carried out by the fire service as “heroic.”
Their work was made difficult by the tinderbox conditions caused by the latest summer heat wave and less rainfall than usual this year. The wind also picked up yesterday and frequent changes in its direction created extra problems for firefighters who attempted to tackle the front, which spread over 25 kilometers.
Dozens of people were evacuated from holiday homes and hotels as the fire approached Ouranoupoli and thick smoke became dangerous for children and those with health problems.
“Ouranoupoli is not under threat at the moment,” deputy mayor of the local municipality of Aristoteli, Constantinos Katsavavakis, told kathimerini.gr. “There has been a partial evacuation of people,” he said.
In Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, a 45-year-old man was arrested and charged with accidentally starting a fire that burned in the area of Arcadia for two days.