A fire that began in southern Albania passed over the border into Greek territory late on Sunday afternoon, in the regions of Haravgi and Ktismata in the prefecture of Ioannina. It spread quickly, burning through an area of forest.
Fire-fighting efforts are currently centred mainly on water-bombing by Canadair aircraft and a fire-fighting helicopter, assisted by a strong force of firemen on foot below.
This is the second fire 'imported' from Albania to have swept the same region since 2010, when flames blazed through local villages and caused the deaths of seven people.
According to the ANA correspondent in Gjirokastr, a number of fires have been blazing in the Greek minority regions of southern Albania in recent days, with one fire burning through thick forest south of Kakavia and two more near the Greek minority village Radati northeast of Kakavia. The flames had gobbled up tens of thousands of hectares of pasture, brush and forest while smoke spreading over an area of 30-50 kilometres was causing low visibility and an oppressive atmosphere.
Local fire-fighting forces lacked the necessary means to deal with the multiple fronts spreading over dozens of kilometres, making the fire-fighting effort difficult.