Over 40,000 hectares (400,000 stremmas) of land have been burnt in wildfires in Greece between Saturday and Monday (Aug. 19-21), the National Observatory of Athens’ Meteo Division said on Tuesday, based on preliminary analysis of satellite data.
Specifically, Meteo said the following land had been burnt, per region:
– 38,000 hectares in Evros, NE Greece border area
– 3,000 hectares in Rodopi, N Greece (west of Evros)
– 1,200 hectares in Viotia, Central Greece
– 800 hectares on Kythnos island, south of Attica
– 500 hectares at Psachna of Evia island, east of Attica
The preliminary data will be corrected when the fires have been contained and satellite data of higher resolution are available, Meteo said.
Meteo attributed fires to warm and dry conditions that made forest material more combustible, and to the higher velocity of winds wherever fires broke out, which also helped them spread. “In all regions, a gradual worsening of fire-related meteorological conditions have been recorded since the start of the fire-prone period (May 1, 2023),” Meteo said, with the exception of Kythnos island, where stronger northerly winds worsened conditions in recent days. The start of fires, it added, “coincides chronologically with the period of the worst conditions, which highlights the urgent need for operational supervision of fire-related meteorological conditions throughout Greece.”