Greece wildfires leave burnt vegetation and dead animals

Animal News : Greece wildfires leave burnt vegetation and dead animals
A wildfire burns in a forest near Lardos, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, July 22, 2023, credit: Reuters/Vassilis Ikoutas

The serene island of Rhodes, known for its clear blue waters and rich forests, now presents a depressing scene of burned vegetation and dead animals, the aftermath of the devastating wildfire sweeping across the Greece region.

“Don’t abandon your animals, don’t leave them helpless, tied and trapped in the areas affected by fires. Every life has value,” the Greek Special Secretariat for the Protection of Companion Animals said in messages via social media, encouraging citizens to evacuate with their animals or call for assistance to rescue and transport them. 

The wildfires, which began on Wednesday, driven by high temperatures and dry winds, destroyed the island’s flora and fauna. Patches of blackened trees and plants now dominate the once-vibrant landscape. The island’s wildlife suffered as a result of the fire. Dead animals were seen alongside the island’s roadways.

“We’re just in the middle of fire season, and we’re counting nearly 200,000 acres of burnt land,” World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Greece said, adding that humans cause 95% of wildfires. “Time we become the solution and not the problem.”

In response to the escalating crisis, Greek authorities launched what they call the largest safe transport operation under emergency conditions. Approximately 19,000 people, both locals and tourists, were moved from their residences and hotels overnight. 

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