During this summer, forest fires raged several areas in Greece including the areas of Eastern Attica, Western Attica, Achaia, Loutraki, Evros, Rodopi, Viotia, Soufli, Rhodes, Corfu, Evia, Ilia, and Chios. By the end of September, these fires scorched over 1.726.260 acres and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists. These fires have had a serious impact on the natural environment, thus far 12 protected areas have been affected: 7 Natura 2000 sites, 4 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 1 National Park.
The Fire Department, with invaluable help from numerous volunteer fire-fighting groups, fought selflessly on all fire fronts across Greece.
Volunteer forest fighter groups offer significant assistance nationwide many times in remote and isolated areas. Members of these groups put their lives at risk to combat the fires, using their own personal resources, as government funding to secure appropriate protective and firefighting equipment is limited. Each fire takes a toll on their equipment, and its replacement is not always feasible due to the high cost.
Therefore, initiatives from the private sector are key to secure the viability of the volunteer forest fire-fighting groups in order to provide their services to the community.