Race against time to heal Rhodes

A bucket filled with water is seen next to charred trees, following a wildfire at the village of Kiotari, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, on July 27, 2023. [Nicolas Economou/Reuters]

Despite some efforts to downplay the Rhodes wildfire disaster, the 20,66 hectares of forest and farmland that burned have left an indelible mark on the island.

According to experts, flood prevention projects must be implemented right away, utilizing the lessons from the island's big 2008 fire as a guide. Both the places that have burned twice in recent years and the Dama dama, a protected species of deer, require special attention.

The final data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) shows that of the 20,661 hectares, 2,196.5 hectares are located in protected areas (Natura sites and wildlife refuges).

Overall, 49.5% of the burnt areas are pine forests, 37.7% are scrub forests, 9.5% are agricultural areas and the rest are of other cover.

Since the previously declared reforested areas and the scattered agricultural land in the area will...

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