Forest fires in Greece burned for the seventh day as fierce fires spread to countries like Italy, Siberia and the United States.
On Monday, firefighters and residents of the island of Evia fought to save what they could from the flames that decimated vast swathes of virgin forest, destroyed homes and forced thousands to flee.
The blaze, which began on August 3, is the most serious of dozens that have erupted across Greece last week, after the country was suffocated by its worst heat wave in three decades.
The heat, which comes during a particularly hot summer, has turned Greece’s forests, including large areas of easily flammable pine trees, into dry powder magazines.
The forest fires have strained Greece’s firefighting capabilities. More than 20 countries in Europe and the Middle East have responded to a demand for resources, sending planes, helicopters, vehicles and labor.
âWe were completely abandoned. There were no firefighters, there were no vehicles, nothing! said David Angelou, who was in Evia in the seaside village of Pefki on Sunday evening after leaving the island by ferry to the mainland port of Arkitsa.
âWe could feel the enormous heat, there was also a lot of smoke. You could see the sun, a red ball, and then nothing else around, âhe said.
Forest fires were also burning in the south Italy. Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes, hotels and campsites on Sunday as a forest fire threatened the Italian resort of Campomarino Lido.
More than 400 people have fled, with photos released by Italian firefighters showing huge flames and thick smoke engulfing the area.
In Turkey, massive fires have been raging for 13 days. Firefighters were still trying to put out fires in two locations in the southwestern coastal province of Mugla.“The situation is improving,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said on Sunday. âIt’s too early to say the fires are under control, but we are reaching this point. “
Meanwhile, the authorities of Russia began evacuating two villages in a vast region of Siberia where 155 active forest fires burned on Sunday.
A dozen villages in the republic of Sakha-Yakutia, in northeast Siberia, have been threatened by the fires, according to the regional emergency task force.
Local authorities moved residents of two villages, Kalvitsa and Kharyyalakh, to other populated areas as teams totaling 3,600 people worked to contain around half of the fires.
On Saturday, the flames destroyed 31 houses and eight maintenance buildings in another village, Byas-Kuel, and around 400 residents were evacuated, local officials said.
In the we, thick smoke that dampened winds and temperatures began to dissipate from the scenic forests of northern California.
Firefighters battling the largest wildland fire in state history have therefore braced for a return to fire-prone weather.
The winds were not to reach the fierce speeds that helped the Dixie Fire explode in size last week. But they were no less worrying for firefighters working in unprecedented conditions to protect thousands of threatened homes.Fueled by strong winds and dry vegetation, the blaze incinerated much of Greenville on Wednesday and Thursday, destroying 370 homes and structures and threatening nearly 14,000 buildings in the northern Sierra Nevada.