|Interview with the Chief of the Fire Department|
Evdoksia, Anastasios and Thomas C. interviewing the Chief
The fire, which started in the summer, near Eletheroupoli's army base, was due to a big balloon filled with helium coming into contact with electrical wires.
- How did the fire start in Eletheroupoli?
The burned area was about 5 ha.
- How big was the burned area?
It was put out in three hours. Of course, safety personnel remained there for two days to ensure that the fire didn't start again.
- How many hours did it take to put out the fire?
Mostly brushes but also some pine trees.
- Are you aware of what type of vegetation was burned?
In most instances the fires are due to arson or negligence from citizens trying to burn grass clippings in their gardens or in their fields.
- What are the causes of the forest fires that you have experienced?
Last year we had an increase in fires. In all my years of service we never had so many fires. We had a fire in Nikisiani, two fires in Antifilippous, one fire in Eleutheroupoli, one in Akrovouni, one in Agio Andrea, one in Eleytheres and many small fires.
- Have you noticed an increase or decrease in the number and size of forest fires in this area?
Above all they should be careful about throwing lighted cigarettes down because of the dry weather in the summer months. One spark can start a dangerous fire. In case of fire they should immediately call 199 and report us about the location and intensity of the fire and what type of vegetation is burnt so that we can act properly.
- What should the citizens be aware of while they are in the forest?
In case of larger fires our personnel does not suffice. For this reason we have organized an emergency plan where neighboring districts, like Drama, Kavala and Xanthi, provide assistance to us.
- Do you have enough equipment for fighting fires of larger scale?
First, we see now a burnt mountain instead of the beautiful vegetation and the pine trees. If you compare it with the surrounding area you realize how tragic this fire was. One major effect is the regression of the flora.
- What consequences caused the fire in Eleftheroupoli?
A burnt area takes usually a lot of years in order to restore itself completely. I estimate about 20 to 25 years until the forest reaches his previous state.
- How many years will last the restoration of the forest according your estimates?
The Fire Department in Eleftheroupoli
Brochures from the Fire Department
|Interview in the Municipality of Eleftheroupolis|
Relatively small. Roughly 30 hectares.
- Compared to other fires how great was the destruction of the fire of Eleftheroupoli?
No, nothing has been done as yet. The type of vegetation was such that the Department of Forestry has informed us that nothing should be done for the next year and to allow the area naturally to re-develop on its own. Consequently we will see the results in the near future and we will act accordingly under the supervision of the Department of Forestry.
- Has anything been done to restore the forest? If no, do you intend to do something?
They could help in the reforestation that probably will begin in the near future.
- How can the school help in the restoring the forest and how can the citizens of Eleftheroupoli help?
Yes, the creation of fire lanes or firebreaks and fire safety teams.
- Are there future plans for the prevention of forest fires?