NASA images show Chios wildfire smoke reaching Crete

Proto Thema – Most fronts of the devastating wildfire that burned across the island of Chios were partially under control on Tuesday morning.

Residents and authorities, however, fear a rekindling of the blaze due to strong winds. So far nearly 90% of the mastic-trees have been incinerated in the villages of Lithi, Elata and Mesta. Images from NASA illustrated the extent of the fire as smoke could be seen reaching the island of Crete.

Firefighters and citizens on the island, which was declared in a state of emergency by authorities, were battling to contain the spread of the flames throughout the night. According to the latest information, the fire started from power cables in the area.

Four planes and four helicopters are currently involved in the operations, while 38 firefighters, 16 vehicles, 11 land units, 40 volunteers, 21 water trucks and 2 earthmoving vehicles are contributing to efforts to contain the fire.

According to a local news site ‘politicos.gr’, the fore started at between the villages of Vessa dn Lithi and quickly spread to the southwest of the island.

Speaking to protothema.gr, Chios mayor Emmanuel Vrounous said it was difficult to say the wildfire had been put under control, adding that the village of Elata had ben evacuated.

‘It all depends on the wind’, he said. Meanwhile, Agricultural Development and Food Minister, Vangelis Apostolou is expected to go to Chios to assess the situation and visit the farming areas hit by the fire.

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