AOn the holiday island of Gran Canaria, a forest fire rages unchecked. According to authorities, around 1,000 inhabitants of three villages had to be taken to safety on Sunday, the flames devastated an area of about 1,000 hectares.
The fire broke out on Saturday in the village of Artenara inland. Firefighters were able to control the flames until late in the evening, according to Regional President Angel Victor Torres, before the wind turned and the fire continued to fire on Sunday night.
More than 200 firefighters and specialized soldiers fought on Sunday from three directions against the fire. The fire works were difficult in the mountainous terrain. Ten firefighting planes and helicopters were in action.
Police reportedly arrested a man suspected of causing the fire by negligence in welding, according to local media reports.
More than 50 fires in Greece
Hundreds of firefighters fought more than 50 forest fires in Greece. Fanned by strong wind and great heat, the fires raged in several parts of the country.
On Saturday, a campsite and a hotel had to be evacuated on the island of Elafonissos, near Marathon near Athens, a children's camp was cleared for security reasons, as the official news agency Ana reported. Marathon is located near the seaside resort of Mati, where 102 people died in a forest fire last year.
Nationwide, more than 450 firefighters and 23 firefighting planes were deployed on Saturday. Civil protection chief Nikos Hardalias had already put the rescue services and fire departments on alert because of the extreme weather conditions with strong gusts of wind, extreme drought and great heat on Friday. “We are dealing with extreme weather conditions over the next three days … we must all be careful,” said Hardalias.