Evia, Greece's second largest Island faces its most important fight in its history, along side countries such as: Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and many more. This group aims to research and come up with different creative ideas to question how lives will change with adapting methods to tackle the current global warming crisis.
Pillars of billowing smoke and ash turned the sky orange and blocked out the sun above Greece's second-largest island Sunday as a days-old wildfire devoured pristine forests and encroached on villages, triggering more evacuation alerts.
The fire on Evia, an island of forested mountains and canyons laced with small coves of crystalline water, began Aug. 3 and cut across the popular summer destination from coast to coast as it burned out of control. Scores of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands of residents and tourists have fled, many escaping the flames via flotillas that even operated in the dark of night.
The blaze is the most severe of dozens that broke out in the wake of Greece's most protracted heat wave in three decades, which sent temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) for days, creating bone-dry conditions.
“It’s already too late, the area has been destroyed,” Giannis Kontzias, mayor of the northern Evia municipality of Istiaia, lamented on Greece’s Open TV. He was one of several local officials and residents who took to Greek TV networks to appeal for more firefighting help, particularly from water-dropping planes and helicopters.
Evacuation orders were issued Sunday for four villages in northern Evia, including Pefki, but many residents refused to leave, hoping to save their properties.
In nearby Gouves, towering flames leaped from the treetops, devouring the pine forest leading to the village. Some residents remained in the picturesque mountain village, dousing homes with water from garden hoses in a last-ditch effort to save them. Others used bulldozers to raze trees and bushes, hoping to create rudimentary firebreaks.
The fire department said Sunday 575 firefighters, 35 ground teams and 89 vehicles were battling the Evia wildfire, including 112 Romanian and 100 Ukrainian firefighters. Four helicopters and three planes provided air support.
Another massive fire that ravaged forests, homes and businesses on the northern fringes of the Greek capital appeared to be on the wane. That blaze burnt through large tracts of a national park on Mount Parnitha, the largest forested area remaining near Athens.
Greek and European officials have also blamed climate change for the large number of fires in southern Europe this summer, from Italy to the Balkans, Greece and Turkey.
Forest fires release C02 into the atmosphere
Destroys areas of environmental importance that are habitats for a diverse array of animals
Reduces the number of trees and vegetation which are important as they aid in the removal of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Without trees land can become loose as roots from vegetation and trees are removed leaving loose unconsolidated soil this can lead to devasting secondary effects such as flash floods as heavy rainfall can easily pick up speed
The smoke from forest fires can be carried by strong winds miles away which is damaging for humans and animals as smog and smoke is a threat to our lungs which can cause emphysema or other related diseases
In Evia forest fires have led to the destruction of sap trees which is a primary source of economic income for the island without the economic capabilities to repair quickly they have entered a cycle of decline and will continue to rely on aid from other allied countries from around the world which may not arrive quickly enough