Officials Say Arsonists Started Devastating Wildfires In Greece

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community
wildfires greece Corfu

Arsonists are to blame for the deadly wildfires that have been tearing through the Greece according to senior climate officials.

On the Greek island of Corfu desperate residents have been saying all along there has been human involvement in the devastating fires.

Last week, Corfu mayor Yorgos Mahimaris said that arsonists were likely responsible for starting the fires, which have forced thousands of locals and tourists to evacuate.

Mahimaris reached this conclusion after visiting three areas on Mount Pantokratoras where the fires started. He told Sky News: “There’s a human hand in this.”

The Guardian reports: Most of the 667 fires that have erupted across Greece in recent weeks were started “by human hand”, the country’s senior climate crisis official has said.

As the Mediterranean country emerges from an unprecedented, 15-day period of heatwave-induced infernos, the scale of the destruction is finally being laid bare.

While weather conditions have been different from any other year – with experts calling the first three weeks of July the hottest on record – most of the fires could have been prevented, the government claimed on Friday.

Vassilis Kikilias, the Greek minister of climate crisis and civil protection, told reporters: “During this time 667 fires erupted, that is more than 60 fires a day, almost all over the country. Unfortunately, the majority were ignited by human hand, either by criminal negligence or intent.

Kikilias said that, in certain places, blazes had broken out at numerous points in close proximity at the same time, suggesting the involvement of arsonists intent on spreading fires further.

He added: “The difference with other years were the weather conditions. Climate change, which yielded a historic and unprecedented heatwave, is here. There were very few days where the extreme weather was not combined with strong winds.”

Niamh Harris
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