Forest Fires

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Muttly
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Forest Fires

Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:23 am

Forest fires have become an increasing problem in the Med basin over the last few years due to the general hotter and dryer summer months and the media in the UK is busy reporting the fires in the Peloponese. A couple of years ago and it was Northern Greece.

Reports currently are that some 40 plus people are dead and particularly in one village in the Western Pelopenese. The generall description is a lack of fire cover (to be expected) elderly people in hill villages without transport and what appears to be firestorms. Because of the lack of Insurance people remaining to fight the fires with domestic hoses and the like.

How has Crete fared this year and is Crete more or less suceptable to these fires due to forest and scrub or lack of the same?

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:19 am

We get fires every year and this year it seems there's been a higher number than usual. Sadly, there have been fatalities, too.

Filippos.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:29 am

Fire fighting helicopters have been flying over us, south west of Chania, again for the last couple of days. Not heard any today so far.

Warwick

Nita
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Postby Nita » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:40 am

Warwick could see the smoke from here which, thankfully, seemed to finally stop yesterday afternoon.

Muttly don't forget a very large number of these fires are the work of arsonists, although I hate to say this I hope they are included in the casualties!

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:42 am

The forest fires have apparently become firestorms (al a Dresden and Tokyo like) drawing their own winds in to fuel themselves and presented with high winds anyway. This supposedly has made it very difficult to fly water bombing helicopters in the vacinity of the fire. Very hot air also makes turbo-jet engines less efficient affecting the load capacity and service ceilings. France had a dose of this last year. My sympathy is with anyone affected by this as they are truly frightening affairs.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:10 pm

There have been reports last night and this morning of 40+ deaths on the mainland in fires the authorities believe to be arson. If the culprits are apprehended they should, in my opinion, be charged with murder.

Filippos.

margarita
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Postby margarita » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:19 pm

Nita wrote:....a very large number of these fires are the work of arsonists, although I hate to say this I hope they are included in the casualties!


My thoughts exactly.

margarita

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:57 pm

There is no real comfort in this but an FBI study many years ago discovered that most arsonists were sexual deviants and many had been discovered in a state of sexual "excitement" near to the scene of their crimes. So it's official then and I won't go on to state the obvious for reasons of taste.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:31 pm

I think the motives here are more to do with greed. It seems the hope of these people, if they can be so described, is that they will subsequently be able to develop - i.e. build on - the land where forest has been destroyed. It's supposed to be re-forested but ... ... ...

Filippos.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:36 pm

Yes that now seems rightfully obvious and I'm sorry I did not think of it before as it has also occoured in France, Spain and Portugal as well as Cyprus last year.

paulh
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Postby paulh » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:54 pm

there are so many fires starting up across the length and breadth of Greece that you really have to think it is a mixture of reasons

one maybe deliberate to develop the land but others can be weirdos, others can be political (it shows up dramatically something the current government have done very little about...there is no emergency infrastructure or plan in place....the fact that no other party has ever done anything significant in this area either is irrelevant). And then we have "chuck it out of the car window and it's no longer my problem" brigade, be it still burning cigarette's or glass bottles. You can drive around today and see this still happening, I watched it done (cigarette from a beaten up pick up truck ) today just passed the Roadhouse after turning left to go to Kalathas this morning. Not good.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:50 pm

How the BBC is reporting this here may be of some interest, that they (the fires) seem to have spread into Athens now as the city is descibed as being covered with smoke and some of the suburbs seem to be at risk.

It must be quite be quite aweful as Athens is in a bit of a bowl and I know the city when traffic pollution is bad. I got caught in a riot there and the CS gas took over a day to clear in the tight windless and airless streets.

What is being reported here is that the Grrek Prime Minister is alluding to dark forces who have been at work particularly in the Athenian suburbs where the Fire Brigade is not due to fighting fires elsewhere. One presumes he is alluding to the future elections.

Also that a male has been arrested and charged in the western Peloponese with arson and multiple homicides (at least six), you are also under a state of emergency.

As Paul quite rightly says there are no doubt multiple reasons for these fires and it probably depends whether you are a politician, a land owner, a householder or a political activist as to the reasons. Whatever way it is a tragedy of truly Greek and epic proportions.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:28 pm

It truly is a huge tragedy. The fires in Athens suburbs today were seperate from those in the Peleponnese and Evia. The government and firemen insist this is organised arson, and say that around 20 fires started yesterday evening around the same time, 9 to 10pm.

The death toll is now up to 52, including two French tourists, and it is expected to rise as some villages are cut off. Four villages have been burnt in the Peleponnese and a fifth is currently being approached by the flames. On one road a number of cars got caught between huge flames and around 10 people died as they tried to run away from the flames, including a mother and her four children.

The fires are still raging out of control in the Peleponnese and Evia. and many villages are cut off. It is an absolute nighmare.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:44 pm

It's when it gets to firestorm that things really go belly up. I have been close to one with winds in excess of 60/70mph. The fire needs oxygen to feed itself and draws it in from wherever it can around it. This is what creates the high winds.

The only thing you can do when this happens is detect it coming and run like hell. The fire can travel nearly at the spped of the wind. It's pointless fighting it and that is where most people lose their lives.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:05 pm

There are some pictures in the D. Telegraph showing the devastation. The news item is here:

http://tinyurl.com/33nlv5

A few lines down there are links to a video and some stills.

It looks so terrible it's hard to believe.

Filippos.


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