At least sixty people have been killed and many more injures as wildfires ripped through Attica, the region around Athens in Greece. Mati, a seaside tourist town, was devastated by the fire. Bodies were found in villas and on the beach as people headed to the sea for safety, and it is believed a number of tourists are among the dead. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

 

The Weather Network reports that ‘Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland, Poland, the British Isles and the Baltic Republics are living some of the most extreme conditions.’ The extreme and prolonged heat has been fueling the fires.

Other European countries facing fires

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) map indicates that Germany, Poland, Romania, and Moldova are also experiencing fires, though media reporting on this has been hard to find.

Advice

If you are set to travel to an area affected by fire in the coming days, please talk to your travel agent.

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and the NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) produce maps that show where wildfires are occurring – click through on the links to view.

Before you travel

  • Identify reliable information channels – local news, local embassy, etc – that you can follow on social media or look up online.
  • Consider setting up push notifications on Twitter.
  • Buy appropriate and comprehensive travel insurance as soon as possible. Make sure you know who to contact and what information you need to give them should anything go awry.
  • Store the contact information for your local embassy on your phone and in a secure offline location.

While you are travelling

  • Monitor local media.
  • Prepare a small grab bag of belongings you will need in an emergency. Include travel documents, ID, medication, snacks, water, first aid kit and anything else that cannot be replaced.
  • Discuss what you will do in an emergency with your group. It is helpful if people know what the risks are and what will be expected of them should something occur.
  • Do not take your safety for granted – fires travel very quickly and can change direction with no warning.
  • If you are told to evacuate, leave immediately.
  • Follow evacuation routes – alternative routes may be blocked.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family.

For more information and advice on preparing for and surviving wildfires, please visit ready.gov.

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