A wildfire allegedly caused by fireworks launched from a mega-yacht has destroyed some 30,000 square meters (75 acres) of precious greenspace of a sole Hydra forest on the otherwise barren isle, Greek authorities said on Sunday, two days after the night-time blaze erupted.

Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias made the statement on Sunday, hours ahead of a scheduled initial arraignment before a Piraeus prosecutor of 13 arrested crew-members of the pleasure craft “Persephone”.

Hydra Forest

A view of the docked mega-yacht “Persephone”. EUROKINISSI

In a television appearance, Kikilias said six aircraft and two teams of specially trained wildfire fire-fighters were used to contain the blaze, which erupted in an inaccessible spot on the mostly barren island – one of Greece’s first jet-setting destinations.

He also reminded that after the recent penal code revision submitted by the Mitsotakis government and passed by a majority in Parliament a sentence of “10 to 20 years in prison is foreseen for parties who start a fire that results in a loss of life or ecological destruction.”

Greece has recently stiffened its criminal code by envisioning prison time and steep fines for individuals that cause wildfires in the Greece, both by negligence and intentionally.

Wildfires are a particularly serious seasonal scourge in the east Mediterranean country, with tens of thousands of acres having gone up in ashes over previous decades, along with scores of related deaths.