|Posted by moodhacker on July 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM|
On a dramatic Battle with the flames, the Greek Fire Protection Forces by the assistance of the local volunteer groups have struggled for more than two days long to save the lives of the rare worldwide blessed mastictrees which produce the earths' tears, at the small land area where they flourish , on the South of Chios island, and its not the first time.
The fire that broke out at dawn early Monday in the south part of the island, destroyed at least 150 tones of , which makes the 15% of the annual mastic production and struck many places already burned in 2012, while it had left an area of 2500-3000 hectares entirely bare of vegetation, causing damage to mastic gum orchards and other crops.
The blaze wiped out the 90 pct of the mastic gum tree orchards production in four of the island's villages,
Emergency Govt Financial support of half a million
The Greek government will devote 500,000 euros to help promote and advertise mastic gum products, in a bid to support producers devastated by a fire that swept the island of Chios in the last few days, Rural Development and Foods Minister Vangelis Apostolou told the ANA on Tuesday.
Apostolou noted the competitive potential of mastic gum cultivation, and said that the government places emphasis on this as one of the key tools for bringing income to the island.
Talking to the agency, the minister said the money will be given in the next 3-5 days, along with money to be spent on storehouses and refrigerators for the mastic gum producers union.
After visiting the island, Apostolou said He said the government would explore ways to compensate farmers for the loss of income and plant capital, applying for assistance from the European Commission's Solidarity Fund or through state support.
Chios on declared Emergency
Dozens of firefighters and aircraft were deployed to fight the forest fire which broke out on 03.30 of Monday morning, burning through olive groves and mastic trees, which, first of all is an essential source of income for the island of about 52,000 population.
Smoke forced some people to flee their homes in two villages, but there has been no order to evacuate, the island's mayor, Manolis Vournous, told state television.
"Given the difficult situation arising due to the devastating fire on the island, the Regional Governor of the North Aegean Ms. Christiana Kalogerou asked to declare an Emergency at the the municipal departments Lithium areas, Vessa, Elata, Mesta, Olympi, Pyrgi of Chios island in emergency" a press release from the North Aegean Regional Authority said ..
An existant Warning
It was a fatal Nat,ural disaster, the local authorities said, explaining as most possible source of the fire, two trees that were broken by the winds on the night of 24th to 25th of July and and broke down two Natural electricity columnes, that let the flames explode due to the windy weather. But the National Elecritcity Agency has officially denied the case of such an accident by a press release.
By that day, winds were blowing at 7 to 8 BF and the Civil Protection agency of Greece had warned, two days earlire for the augmented risk of fof possible fireworks , due to weather iIn many areas of Greece , between them the islands of Norths Aegean
Here is the official map of Risk warning
Not the first time
The fire awakened to the residents memories the nighmarish experience of an earlier huge fire in the mid of August in 2012. that had destroyed the harvest an the land of the southwestern part of island.
It is the period when the harvesting period of the mastic recin starts
The Chios forest fire was a wildfire that broke out in the southern half of the Greek island of Chios shortly on Saturday 18 August 2012
The two villages, Pyrgi and Olympos, were the ones that were also burned in 2012, and this time.
But the compansations payed to the farmers and mastic producers had been rare since last time,
Most imortantly , mastic trees need t least 7 years to give harvest , and some thousands of that trees are recently planed after the earier fire
What means geologically and agriculturally- wise a burned land, so unique in the world for its fertility, to be burned twice in the half period that a tree needs to start to grow and produce, remains to be answered by the special scientists on the Greek flora.
But for the moment, the villagers are desperate
the August 2012 fire disaster in numbers
Early on 18 August the people of two villages in southern Chios were evacuated as a safety measure, and the blaze threatened the army base near Vessas. By the evening of 20 August it was reported that a total of nine villages had been evacuated as the fire continued to advance.
Last time''s damage had been reported on 20 August local authorities reported that 7000 hectares (16,000acres) of forest and farmland that had been totaly destroyed.
The beekeepers of Chios had lost 60 percent of their hives.
This was the NASA photo of the2012 Chios Fire Smoke that again had reached Crete, but more straightly .
Compare to this year's NASA photo,four years later
The disastrous fire on Chios Mastc Villages by its smoke shown by NASA airpor Worldview Earthdata Nasa , July 26, 2016
Rural Development and Foods Minister Vangelis Apostolou arrived on the island on Tuesday, accompanied by the head of the farmers' insurance organisation, Apart from the financial support announcements, he also noted the need to take measures to protect the environment in the fire-stricken areas, with anti-flooding protection and other steps.