Prime Minister Antonis Samaras thanked fire fighters on Monday, during a visit to the Fire Brigade Centre of Operations in Halandri, north of Athens, and pledged to help with staffing and wage issues in all security branches.
According to AMNA, addressing a review meeting on this year΄s firefighting season, Samaras said the crisis was coming to an end in Greece. “Our country can only get ahead when each person does his or her duty,” the premier said. “We will then go ahead, and we are conclusively leaving behind us, in the past, at the end of this crisis we are experiencing now, all hardship. There is a future opening up widely ahead of us and you serve as the example that a young Greek can follow today.”
According to data released by the Fire Brigade΄s arson investigation division (DAEE), 3,661 fires broke out in Greece in June, July and August, 676 fewer than last year, or a drop of 15.6 pct, while a total of 15,000 hectares (150,162 stremmas) were burnt from January to October in 2014.
The extent of burnt land was reduced by 44.6 pct from the year before and by 71 pct in terms of the average of the last 16 years, while the majority (96.76 pct) were land plots smaller than 10 hectares (100 stremmas).
There were 20 large fires burning over 100 hectares (1,000 stremmas) each, most of which (12) were in Thessaly, central Greece.
According to information to date, there are 3,917 court case files for fires that broke out in rural and forest areas and 194 files on individuals. Six have been detained. According to DAEE, 48.63 pct of the fires were due to arson; 22.70 pct due to negligence; 12.33 pct due to natural causes; another 12.33 pct due to unknown reasons; and 4.01 pct were accidental.