A fire on the picturesque Ionian island of Corfu has devastated some 130 hectares (320 acres) of pine forest and olive groves, the island’s mayor said on Thursday, blaming arsonists. Pockets of fire that started in 19 different locations on Tuesday left no doubt that arsonists were at work.
The blaze raced across a 40-kilometre (25 miles) front in the island’s northeast on Tuesday night, nearing inhabited areas but without threatening the island’s extensive tourist resorts. The fire department on Thursday said most of the fronts had been checked with the assistance of water bombers and a helicopter. Scores of fires break out in Greece every summer, aided by high temperatures and strong winds and frequently attributed to arson, though the perpetrators are rarely caught.
In 2007, a wave of wildfires killed 77 people and destroyed over 250,000 hectares of land, mainly in the Peloponnese and the island of Evia.
In 2009, hundreds of people were evacuated near Athens owing to another wildfire in the capital’s eastern suburbs. (TerraDaily)
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