A series of wildfires were active on Monday evening around Greece, although none were described as out-of-control or engulfing large areas, with the most serious reported on the Dodecanese Island of Kos as a total of 52 wildfires were reported throughout the country over the past 24 hours – of which 44 were extinguished immediately.

The other eight required operations by the fire brigade.

In terms of Kos, an emergency evacuation order via the 112 mobile phone line was issued for an area that included the Kardamaina site, where several coastal resorts are located.

Nearly 80 fire-fighters were battling the blaze, fielding 15 fire-engines, whereas eight water-dropping aircraft were employed.

Another island, Chios to the north of Kos, also reported a wildfire that erupted in a hard-to-reach area. A sizable continent, 142 firefighters, was on the scene, along with 21 fire trucks and 10 aircraft utilized. Additional fire-fighting forces were expected from Lesvos and Athens.

52 Wildfires

Other noteworthy blazes were reported near the south-central town of Distomo, on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, on Crete and in the extreme southeastern mainland Greece, Laconia prefecture.

Meanwhile, on the law enforcement front, four wildfire-related arrests were reported in separate parts of the country, while fines were levied on another four individuals.

According to a fire brigade announcement, a local man was taken into custody by arson investigators as an arson suspect related to a wildfire near the popular resort town of Loutraki, west of Athens on the Corinth Gulf. He was charged with intentionally lighting a fire in a forested area.

Another local man near the central city of Volos was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of negligent arson, after a fire broke out during agricultural work.

Foreign national arrested twice in two weeks for arson

52 WildfiresThe most egregious incident, however, came over the weekend, when a foreign national was arrested by the fire brigade’s arson unit as he was allegedly trying to start a blaze in brushland near a dry creek in the coastal municipality of Rafina, east of Athens proper on the Southern Evoikos Gulf.

He is due to appear before an investigating magistrate on Tuesday.

The man was arrested for the same reason last month, June 16, on the same charge. He was subsequently tried and received a a minor jail sentence – suspended, no less.

The case of the apparent “repeat offender” flies “in the face” of the government’s prominently announced “get tough” policy with intentional or negligent arson that causes death, injury of serious environmental damage.

No information was given on his age, nationality and if he is legally in the country.