As of: 07/23/2022 7:47 p.m
In many places in southern Europe, the fire brigades continue to fight against forest fires. A beach resort is under threat on the Greek island of Lesbos. Two hotels and dozens of houses had to be evacuated.
On the Greek Mediterranean island of Lesbos, a forest fire has reached a seaside resort popular with tourists. Two hotels and more than 90 houses were evacuated in the coastal town of Vatera, police said. A total of 450 people were brought to safety.
The Coast Guard had previously said it had evacuated the beach, bringing nine people to safety. At least two houses in Vatera were destroyed in the fire, according to information from the TV station ERT.
In other parts of Greece, too, the fire brigade continues to fight against forest fires. The largest fire blazed for the third day in north-eastern Greece near the Turkish border in Dadia National Park, fire department spokesman Yannis Artopoios said. More than 320 firefighters are on duty, supported by volunteers. Around 200 lumberjacks cut firebreaks in the forest.
Plumes of smoke on the coast of Lesvos island.
An area as big as Stuttgart
In France, too, the forest fires are still a threat – especially on the Atlantic coast south of Bordeaux. In some places, however, the residents have now been able to return to their homes, as the responsible prefecture announced on Twitter.
The forest fires that broke out in Landiras and La Teste-de-Buch more than a week ago destroyed more than 20,600 hectares of land. This roughly corresponds to the area of Stuttgart. Thousands of people had to leave their homes as a precaution.
Fire after lightning strikes in South Tyrol
In South Tyrol, lightning strikes caused several small forest fires during a violent thunderstorm. In addition, the fire brigade had to move out in the northern Italian holiday region because of fallen trees. In Naturns, a tree fell on a campsite and grazed a mobile home, according to the fire brigade. Nobody got hurt. A tree fell on the swimming pool of a hotel in Meran. In Vilpian, lightning struck trees, a piece of forest burned, but could be extinguished again. As in other parts of Europe, it hasn’t rained much in South Tyrol – the forests have dried out accordingly.
In Slovenia, the forest fires in a karst area pose a special challenge for the helpers. Because there are still many unexploded ordnance from World War I, firefighters cannot penetrate into the depths of the forest, said Slovenian Defense Minister Marjan Sarec. For this reason, firefighting is primarily carried out from the air. Between 1915 and 1918 bitter battles raged between Austria-Hungary and Italy in the Isonzo Valley and in the Julian Alps. The former war zone is now mostly in the Slovenian Karst.