More than 150 firefighters, supported by 40 water tanks, have been battling a huge wildfire that has broken out in the mountains near the town of Kassandra in Chalkidiki since early Monday morning.
The fire broke out in the forest between Mola Kaliva and Skioni at 7 am. It is noted that it began in a remote mountainous area, which is difficult to reach by car.
Strong winds that blow in the area with a force of 7 to 8 on the Beaufort scale make it extremely difficult to extinguish the fire, therefore, despite the fact that the entire fire department of Halkidiki was deployed there, additional forces from Thessaloniki were sent to help.
— Πυροσβεστικό Σώμα (@pyrosvestiki) April 11, 2022
Local authorities have mobilized equipment to clear the paths, and 4 Canadair firefighting planes are fighting the fire by dropping water from the sky, according to halkidikinews.
Mayor of Kassandra Anastasia Halkia announced Radio Thessalonikithat the fire started when someone set fire to the dry branches of an olive tree and after a while left, thinking that the fire was extinguished. Local authorities and firefighters hope that the wind will ease by morning, which will allow the fire to be contained.
According to firefighters, recently, as this year, there has been an increase in forest fires, and until March 20, there was still snow in the country, and pruning of trees and crops was delayed.
Majority forest fires over the past few weeks is due to the burning of pruned branches in the gardens, so Fire Department urges citizens to be especially careful and take all necessary measures before burning branches.
— Πυροσβεστικό Σώμα (@pyrosvestiki) April 6, 2022
More than 400 wildfires broke out last week, well before the start of the fire season, according to the fire department. Some of them were very large.