Forest fires destroy a tenth of Greece in 25 years: report

July 21, 2011
A view of fire devastated areas lying between the villages of Kalentzi and Marathon in 2009. Forest fires have devastated more than 10 percent of Greek territory in a 25-year period, mostly in the southern Peloponnese peninsula, a report published Thursday said.

Forest fires have devastated more than 10 percent of Greek territory in a 25-year period, mostly in the southern Peloponnese peninsula, a report published Thursday said.

The total area destroyed from 1983 to 2008 amounted to some 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres), said the report by the Greek institute of (Ethiage) and the Greek office of WWF.

"On an annual basis there have been 1,465 , which burned 52,000 hectares of and farm land," said the report published by the press agency.

The most affected region has been the Peloponnese where 19 percent of the fires took place, destroying 27 percent of forests and farm land there.

The cause of most of the fires was not clear. About 11 percent were the result of arson and about nine percent were triggered by fires lit to clear their properties.

The majority of the fires were in the month of August, spread by wind from the north during this time of year, but the most devastating month was July, the hottest period of the year on average.

The two organisations which prepared the report called on Greek authorities to "develop an effective system to protect the country's forests."

One of the most serious fires in Greece took place in 2007, when 77 people died and 250,000 hectares were ravaged, mainly in the Peloponnese and the island of Euboea, the second-largest island after Crete.

Explore further: Scientists plan Amazon forest fire

Related Stories

Scientists plan Amazon forest fire

July 20, 2005

Woods Hole Research Center scientists are planning to burn a one and one-half square-mile area of Amazon forest to study the effects of fires in that area.

Greeks get space-based help in wake of deadly fires

September 21, 2007

Cleanup and rebuilding teams responding to the devastation across Greece caused by this summer’s deadly fires are getting help from space. A series of crisis map products based on satellite acquisitions of affected areas ...

Russia battles fires in Siberia, Far East

May 23, 2011

Russia is battling wildfires spreading across Siberia and the Far East, with officials scrambling to prevent a disastrous repeat of last year's deadly blazes, the emergencies ministry said on Monday.

Recommended for you

Climate ups odds of 'grey swan' superstorms

August 31, 2015

Climate change will boost the odds up to 14-fold for extremely rare, hard-to-predict tropical cyclones for parts of Australia, the United States and Dubai by 2100, researchers said Monday.

Quantifying the impact of volcanic eruptions on climate

August 31, 2015

Large volcanic eruptions inject considerable amounts of sulphur in the stratosphere which, once converted into aerosols, block sun rays and tend to cool the surface of the Earth down for several years. An international team ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.