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‘We fought a great battle’: Greece Defends Wildfire Response

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A firefighter from Slovakia tries to extinguish a fire in Avgaria village on Evia island, about 184 kilometers (115 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. A massive wildfire burning for days on the northern tip of Greece's second largest island continued to devour forests Tuesday, its thick smoke hanging in the streets of a nearby town as hundreds of firefighters battled to save what they could. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

(AP) — As Greece’s massive wildfires are being largely tamed, the country’s civil protection chief has strongly defended the country’s firefighting efforts. He said every resource was thrown into the fight against what he described as the fire service’s worst challenge ever.

Over the past eight days, 586 blazes broke out, destroying tens of thousands of acres of forest, hundreds of homes, killing one volunteer firefighter and forcing over 60,000 people to flee their homes.

Two firefighters are in intensive care with severe burns. Officials have pointed to climate change as a major factor in the fires, which also ravaged parts of Turkey, Italy and other southern European countries amid a searing heat wave.

 

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