Fireworks From Yacht Spark Forest Fire On Greek Island, 13 Arrested

Thirteen people have been arrested following a forest fire on the Greek island of Hydra, which authorities believe was started by fireworks launched from a yacht. The fire, which started on Friday, devastated the island’s sole pine forest. Although now under control, the fire presented significant challenges for firefighters who had to access the area by sea and use helicopters to drop water due to the lack of roads leading to the beach.

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Hydra, southwest of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, is popular among foreign visitors and those travelling on yachts.

The latest blaze was ”caused by fireworks launched from a boat and burned the only pine forest on the island in a place that is difficult to access and has no road”, Hydra’s firefighting team said on Facebook.

In a statement on Saturday, Greek authorities confirmed the arrest of 13 Greek citizens who are scheduled to appear before prosecutors on Sunday. An official said the people were arrested at an Athens area marina.

The incident has caused widespread outrage in Greece, which is already grappling with multiple wildfires amidst its first heatwave of the year. The country has been on high alert for wildfires due to dry conditions, strong winds, and high temperatures, which are expected to persist throughout the summer. Officials say 64 forest and brush fires have broken out in Greece over the past 24 hours. 

Hydra’s mayor, Giorgos Koukoudakis, expressed anger over the reckless actions that led to the fire. 

“We are indignant that some people so irresponsibly throw fireworks into a pine forest,” Hydra’s mayor, Giorgos Koukoudakis, told Greek broadcaster ERT.

In a related incident, a 55-year-old volunteer firefighter succumbed to injuries sustained while combating a fire in the Ilia region of the Peloponnese peninsula.

Scientists have warned that fossil fuel emissions caused by humans are worsening the length and intensity of heat waves around the world.

Additionally, arson remains a significant problem, with 79 people arrested for arson last August. To combat this, Greece increased penalties for both deliberate and negligent arson last year, introducing fines of up to 200,000 Euro and jail sentences of up to 20 years​


NDTV news agency contributed to this report, published by ORDO News editors.

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ORDO News Network. contributed to this article Fireworks From Yacht Spark Forest Fire On Greek Island, 13 Arrested.

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