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Evacuated Greek locals watch in horror as wildfires tear through their paradise island home of Evia


Pillars of billowing smoke and ash turned the sky orange on Greece‘s second-largest island as wildfires continued to rip through forests. 

More evacuation alerts were triggered this morning on Evia while residents appealed for additional firefighting help.

Footage shows the blaze raging on as evacuated locals watch in horror from inside a ship on Lake Evia. 

Hordes of residents are seen standing inside the ferry as flames rage on from all sides. 

It comes as it was revealed that British experts will be sent to Athens in Greece to help tackle the blaze.  

Residents watch on as the fire blazes on

Footage shows the blaze raging on as evacuated locals watch in horror from inside a ship on Lake Evia

The fire on Evia, an island of forested mountains and canyons laced with small coves of crystalline water, began August 3 and cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast while burning out of control for five days. 

Scores of homes and businesses have been destroyed, and thousands of residents and vacationers were evacuated.  

Teams from Merseyside, Lancashire, South Wales, London and West Midlands fire services will fly to Athens this weekend.

The deployment follows a request from Home Secretary Priti Patel, who visited Greece this week.

The teams sent by the National Fire Chiefs Council( NFCC) will be deployed alongside their Greek counterparts.

Ms Patel said: ‘I’ve seen first-hand this week the devastating wildfires ripping through Greece and the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with our Greek friends at this difficult time.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service of Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service of Deputy Chief Fire Officer Nick Searle

It comes as it was revealed that British experts will be sent to Athens in Greece to help tackle the blaze. Pictured: Left, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service of Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan. Right, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service of Deputy Chief Fire Officer Nick Searle

‘I’ve asked the National Fire Chiefs Council to send out a specialist team to provide support in responding to this emergency. I am immensely grateful to the brave firefighters for stepping forward and volunteering to help and their expertise will be invaluable in supporting the Greek emergency services.’

NFCC chairman Mark Hardingham said: ‘The UK Fire and Rescue Service will be offering support to our colleagues in Greece, along with their communities who need assistance during these devastating wildfires.

‘NFCC’s national resilience function is in place to deploy both in the UK and overseas – and the team is highly skilled at responding to extreme events such as these.

‘We can offer professional and technical skills to our fire family in Greece at a time when help is needed; it is ingrained in the professional nature of FRS staff to assist.’

Flames rage on near the village of Gouves on Evia island earlier today

Flames rage on near the village of Gouves on Evia island earlier today  

There were dramatic scenes as ferries evacuated 1,153 people from a seaside village and beaches on Evia after flames from a massive wildfire burning for days cut off all other means of escape.

A fire threatening Athens’ most important national park killed one volunteer firefighter, while at least 20 people have been injured in blazes during the country’s worst heat wave in 30 years. 

The blaze currently is the most severe of dozens that broke out in Greece in the wake of the country’s most protracted and intense heat wave in three decades, which sent temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) and created bone-dry conditions.

The Greek coast guard said three patrol boats, four navy vessels, one ferry, two tourist boats and numerous fishing and private boats were on standby to carry out potential evacuations from the seaside village of Pefki, on Evia’s northern tip.

Hordes of residents are seen standing inside the ferry as flames rage on from all sides

Hordes of residents are seen standing inside the ferry as flames rage on from all sides

The fire on Evia, an island of forested mountains and canyons laced with small coves of crystalline water, began August 3 and cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast while burning out of control for five days

The fire on Evia, an island of forested mountains and canyons laced with small coves of crystalline water, began August 3 and cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast while burning out of control for five days

A local resident walks as a wildfire rages near the village of Gouves, on Euboea island

A local resident walks as a wildfire rages near the village of Gouves, on Euboea island

Flames burn a forest during a wildfire near Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 115 miles north of Athens

Flames burn a forest during a wildfire near Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 115 miles north of Athens

A burned car in Kryoneri, in northern Athens, Greece, this morning

A burned car in Kryoneri, in northern Athens, Greece, this morning 

Flames burn a forest during a wildfire in Gouves village on the island of Evia

Flames burn a forest during a wildfire in Gouves village on the island of Evia

Around 350 people already boarded the ferry, the coast guard said, while towering flames cut off possible escape routes on roads. 

Evacuation orders were issued for four villages, including Pefki, but some residents refused to leave, hoping to save their properties.

British experts will be sent to Athens to help  

British experts are being sent to Greece to help tackle the wildfires ravaging parts of the country.

Teams from Merseyside, Lancashire, South Wales, London and West Midlands fire services will fly to Athens this weekend.

The deployment follows a request from Home Secretary Priti Patel, who visited Greece this week.

The teams sent by the National Fire Chiefs Council( NFCC) will be deployed alongside their Greek counterparts.

Ms Patel said: “I’ve seen first-hand this week the devastating wildfires ripping through Greece and the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with our Greek friends at this difficult time.

“I’ve asked the National Fire Chiefs Council to send out a specialist team to provide support in responding to this emergency. I am immensely grateful to the brave firefighters for stepping forward and volunteering to help and their expertise will be invaluable in supporting the Greek emergency services.”

NFCC chairman Mark Hardingham said: “The UK Fire and Rescue Service will be offering support to our colleagues in Greece, along with their communities who need assistance during these devastating wildfires.

“NFCC’s national resilience function is in place to deploy both in the UK and overseas – and the team is highly skilled at responding to extreme events such as these.

“We can offer professional and technical skills to our fire family in Greece at a time when help is needed; it is ingrained in the professional nature of FRS staff to assist.”

There were dramatic scenes as ferries evacuated 1,153 people from a seaside village and beaches on Evia after flames from a massive wildfire burning for days cut off all other means of escape. 

Residents in other nearby villages and north Evia’s main harbor, Aidipsos, were urged to shut windows, doors and chimneys to prevent burning embers from entering houses.

Overnight, the coast guard and ferries evacuated 83 people from beaches in northern Evia.  

On Friday night, ferries evacuated more than 1,000 people from beaches and a seaside village in apocalyptic scenes as flames raged on the hillsides behind them.

Local officials and residents in north Evia called in to television news programs on Saturday, appealing for more firefighters and water-dropping planes.

The fire department said 575 firefighters with 35 ground teams and 89 vehicles were battling the Evia wildfire, including 112 Romanian and 100 Ukrainian firefighters sent to Greece as reinforcements.  

Four helicopters and three planes, including a massive Beriev-200 plane leased from Russia, provided air support.

Three more major fires were also burning Sunday in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region, while a massive fire that ravaged forests, homes and businesses on the northern fringes of the Greek capital appeared to be on the wane. 

That fire burnt through large tracts of a national park on Mount Parnitha, the largest forested area remaining near Athens that still bore deep scars from a fire in 2007.

One volunteer firefighter died Friday north of Athens after suffering head injuries from a falling electricity pole, while at least 20 people have been treated for fire-related injuries, including two firefighters who were hospitalized in intensive care.

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Three people were arrested Friday – in the greater Athens area, central and southern Greece – on suspicion of starting blazes, in two cases intentionally.

Another person, a 47-year-old Greek, was arrested Saturday afternoon in the Athens suburb of Petroupoli for lighting two fires in a grove and setting four dumpsters on fire, police said.

Ten countries have already sent personnel and firefighters equipment such as aircraft to Greece, while another eight are sending further reinforcements.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the fire department’s headquarters in Athens Saturday and expressed his ‘deep sadness’ for the volunteer firefighter’s death. 

He later visited the airport from which firefighting planes take off and thanked the pilots, both Greek and French.

Securing aid for everyone affected by the wildfires will be ‘my first political priority,’ the prime minister said, promising that all burnt areas would be reforested.

‘When this nightmarish summer has passed, we will turn all our attention to repairing the damage as fast as possible, and in restoring our natural environment again,’ Mitsotakis said.

Greek and European officials have blamed climate change for the large number of fires that burned through southern Europe in recent days, from Italy to the Balkans, Greece and Turkey.  

A man passes in front of a burned van, in Kryoneri, in northern Athens

A man passes in front of a burned van, in Kryoneri, in northern Athens

A helicopter flies above burned forest in Kryoneri this morning

A helicopter flies above burned forest in Kryoneri this morning 

The remains of a burned house are seen in Kryoneri in Athens this morning

The remains of a burned house are seen in Kryoneri in Athens this morning 

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Three people were arrested Friday - in the greater Athens area, central and southern Greece - on suspicion of starting blazes, in two cases intentionally

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Three people were arrested Friday – in the greater Athens area, central and southern Greece – on suspicion of starting blazes, in two cases intentionally

A man stands between burned trees in Kryoneri, in northern Athens

A man stands between burned trees in Kryoneri, in northern Athens



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