Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias appealed to people to be exceptionally careful to not start fires in the coming week, warning that it would be a very high-risk period for wildfires, in an interview on Sunday during the programme “Ora Ellados” on the television network Open.
He stressed that most fires were the result of human actions and advised both individuals and services, including local authorities, to show particular care.
“From tomorrow, Monday, we will have a lot of wind, the well-known ‘meltemia’ that according to the National Meteorological Service will reach seven, eight or even nine Beaufort in many parts of Greece,” the minister warned.
“We are living in an era of climate crisis and we see this on Corfu, where last week we had a great wildfire in the north section of the island and yesterday we had extreme weather phenomena with strong rain and hail,” he pointed out.
Unfortunately, Kikilias added, “a major role is played by human hands” and he announced the arrest of an 87-year-old man who was caught by police in the act of starting a fire using flammable liquid, which the fire brigade was able to very quickly extinguish.
The minister also noted that the “the state gives funds in good time each year for the clearing and fire protection of public spaces. Local authorities, in their turn, have an obligation to use every last euro of these funds. There must be timely clearing and also better and more effective checking.”