Fire-fighting crews in the island of Chios (in Greece’s eastern Aegean Sea) are struggling to contain a wildfire that begun at 02:50 this morning in more than four fronts destroying forests and mastiha bushes in particular, threatening many houses in the south west of the island.
More or less of the entire Mastihohora the famous and unique mastiha producing villages, are under complete destruction. Mastiha grows and produces only in Chios (see our latest …a few days ago). Given what has happened three and four years ago – not to say nearly every summer, I guess the locals had enough and it is time whether it was an arson, or just the “heat wave” or whatever to have an end in this despicable situation… The locals had enough, particularly given the seven years of austerity which strikes the entire Greek nation, and also the peak of the tourist season, which gives another burden to the growers and tourist business at a time very much needed to recover what the austerity continues to destroy…
According to the Mayor of Chios Manolis Vournous, who was speaking at the local and Greece’s media, the fire approached houses in Elata village, burning a few gardens too. Some people left their homes due to dense smoke, although there wasn’t any official order to evacuate.
The areas of Lithi, Vessa, Elata, Mesta, Olympi and Pyrgi are all in a state of emergency. 90 (ninety) percent of the Mastiha bush-trees in these villages have been destroyed! Strong winds have fanned the flames and blown smoke and ash across the entire region.
Given the strong northern winds it is very difficult for the fire-fighting planes to do the proper job but helicopters, being more flexible can do a bit better. The armed forces are doing their best as well as the locals and help is expected any minute from Piraeus when the ferry “Ariadne” arrives with help.
Pity and Shame, Shame and Pity!