Forest fires.. 46 fires in Greece and massive evacuations in Canada and Spain

The Greek authorities reported that about 46 fires broke out yesterday, Saturday, in several regions of the country, amid news of the evacuation of residents of 8 villages in the north-east of the country.

Fires raged in forests and jungles in northeastern Greece yesterday, Saturday, and got out of control amid high temperatures, strong winds and a drought that the country has been witnessing for weeks.

Greek local authorities said that the fire reached villages in the Greek coastal region of Alexandroupolis today, Sunday, and damaged many homes and agricultural lands. While sources from the firefighting teams reported that about 46 fires broke out in forests and jungles across the country on Saturday.

Those sources also reported that firefighters deployed planes and helicopters at dawn today to put out the fires.

The official Greek radio quoted the mayor of Alexandroupolis, Giannis Zambukis, as saying that the authorities had evacuated 8 villages near Alexandroupolis, and that 4 people had been taken to hospital due to respiratory problems as a result of the fires.

Zambukis explained that the tourist areas are not threatened by the danger of fires reaching them. It was not clear what caused the fires, which spread quickly due to strong winds and drought.

Mass evictions in Canada

In Canada, the authorities issued evacuation orders on Saturday for about 35,000 local residents in British Columbia, with the intensification of the fires that have been ravaging the state for days. The authorities also warned that the coming days will be more difficult.

The region declared a state of emergency last Friday, to grant officials temporary official powers to deal with the risks associated with fires, after they got out of control in large parts of the region.

The fire destroyed an area estimated at 140,000 square kilometers across Canada, which is equivalent to the size of the US state of New York.

The fire was centered around Kelowna, a city about 300 km east of Vancouver with a population of about 150,000.

Forest fires are common in Canada, but the speed and scale of fires now spread makes this season the worst fire season in Canada so far.

fires in Spain

In Spain, fires broke out in the forests of the Spanish island of Tenerife, forcing thousands of its residents to flee their homes on Saturday evening, after efforts to control the fires faltered due to strong winds.

Rosa Davila, the head of the local government in Tenerife, described the fire as “devastating”. She said during a press conference that the fire had caused new evacuations.

Emergency services said late Saturday that 10 towns had been affected by the fires so far, and that authorities had evacuated residents of 11 towns as a precaution. While the regional authorities announced the evacuation of more than 12 thousand people.

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