The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) is actively helping the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) monitor two forest fires currently raging in Greece. It forecasts that the fire danger will remain very high for the next two days, reaching extreme values by tomorrow, Thursday 28 August, but will decrease thereafter.
Fires broke out in forest regions in the municipality of Kalabaka in the region of Trikala (northern Greece) on 24 August and the Ancient Messene (Mavrommati) in the region of Messinia, Peloponnese on 25 August. On the evening of the 25th August, Greece requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight the forest fires raging in the central part of the country. As a result, France has sent two fire-fighting planes to assist in the firefighting efforts, and EFFIS is sending regular update on the situation to the relevant authorities.
Hotspots (active flame fronts) for each fire were detected by EFFIS satellite systems on the 25 and 26 August respectively. EFFIS estimates that the two fires have respectively burned 784 ha and 668 ha already and that both are likely to intensify before conditions abate after the 28 August.
"Forest fires are a risk we face every summer and this year is no exception; we will continue to support the efforts of Greece to prevent the fire from spreading towards populated areas," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The EU ERCC is the single point of entry for users who wish to activate the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It actively monitors forest fire risks across Europe, using national monitoring services and tools such as EFFIS and satellite imagery to provide an overview of the situation in Europe. Every summer, it holds a weekly videoconference with national authorities from countries at greatest risk of forest fires.