Firework fools destroy pine forest in Greece

Firework fools destroy pine forest in Greece

HYDRA GREECE: Firefighters battled to control forest fire Credit: Facebook/epoxikoipirosvestes

Thirteen people who let off fireworks from their yacht began a forest fire on Hydra, an island near Athens.

The boat’s occupants, who are all Greek citizens, reportedly tried to stem the blaze which began late on the night of June 21 but fled once it was obvious that fire was out of control.

Giorgos Koukoudakis, Hydra mayor, said he was “outraged”, and would take legal action against the “irresponsible” people who had devastated Hydra’s only pine forest.

In an interviewer with Greece’s public broadcaster, ERT, Koukoudakis also called on the authorities to designate fire-free zones and to create more firebreaks and roads through forests.

Hydra’s fire brigade explained on social media that the pine forest’s inaccessibility had prevented them from reaching the area by land.  Instead, they had to get the flames under control from the beach, while helicopters helped to douse the fire from the air.

Following a mild winter and temperatures that reached 44 degrees in some areas in mid-June, fire is an ever-present risk.

Officials said 64 forest and brush fires broke out in Greece in the 24 hours between late on June 21 and June 22. High temperatures and strong winds complicated task of controlling them, with a volunteer firefighter losing his life in Ilia on the Peloponnese peninsula on June 21.

In a bid to eradicate negligence, human error and arson, the government has introduced fines of up to €200,000 and prison terms of up to 20 years.

Arson is an ever-present problem, and at least 79 people were arrested in Greece in August 2023, charged with provoking destructive fires.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at