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Greece Fights Deadly Fire on Aegean Island as Temperatures Soar

Firefighters work to extinguish a wildfire near Stamata, Greece on June 30. (Nick Paleologos/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Greece is fighting a deadly fire on the island of Lesvos, as temperatures in some parts of the country exceed 40C (104F).

A person died in a burned out car on Lesvos, where authorities are investigating whether the vehicle was scorched by a wildfire, or if it was involved in an accident that triggered the blaze.

Elsewhere, almost 100 firefighters — supported by 11 planes and five helicopters — are trying to contain a forest blaze in Korinthia, a region in the northeast of Peloponnese. Authorities are also battling a fire in Evros, a region that’s on very high alert for Friday.

Wildfires have been a risk across Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean for decades, but global warming is turbo-charging the threat they pose. Climate change is putting 2024 on track to be the world’s hottest year on record, intensifying extreme weather events such storms, floods and fires.

Greek authorities have placed several regions of the country on high fire alert, with hundreds of outbreaks since early June destroying properties and businesses. 

Under a European Union initiative, Greece has also dispatched planes to help fight fires in Albania. 

Albanian Defense Minister Niko Peleshi reported 23 fires in the past 24 hours, but just two remain active in the south of the country.

--With assistance from Eamon Akil Farhat and Gresa Kraja.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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