Large areas of farmlands and forests burnt on Thasos, as wildfire rages for 3rd day

12 September 2016
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Tens of houses, large areas of pinewood and farming lands have been burnt to ashes in the worst fire in the past 30 years on the island of Thasos, as the wildfire that broke out in Saturday, is raging for a third day in a row. Land and air firefighting operations have been ongoing since Saturday on all fronts, but with little success so far, as thick smoke and strong winds are impending their efforts. 250 firefighters, 73 vehicles, 6 helicopters and 7 firefighting planes have been deployed to put the blazes under control. The extent of the threat was highlighted by Citizen’s Protection Minister, Nikos Toskas who said that virtually all air means were being used over Thasos in the battle against the flames. The island’s Mayour, Kostas Chatziemanouil said some of the fronts had been put under control, but pointed out that it was too early to make any definitive estimations due to the string winds blowing over Thasos. The fire threatened the village of Rachoni on Sunday with the flames approaching to 1km from the residential areas. According to local eyewitness accounts ten houses had been burnt to the ground at the Megalo Kazaviti settlement. The Mayor said that he would recommend postponing the start of schools for two days after consulting with the Education Ministry. The resident of the Greek Republic expressed his solidarity to the citizens of Thasos, while Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is expected to visit the island on Monday, after cancelling his scheduled trip to the island of Kefalonia for the new school season.

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