Greek Police Investigation Into Suspicious Fires Near Turkish Border

TOPSHOT - Firefighters stand near a pine forest wildfire fanned by strong winds near the village of Athikia, in Peloponnese area near Corinth late on July 22, 2020. - Greek authorities evacuated five settlements as a precaution. Summer fires are frequent in Greece, with temperatures regularly over 30 degrees Celsius …
ALERIE GACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Greece’s police and fire service have launched an investigation after at least 15 fires broke out in just 48 hours in the Evros border area with Turkey.

The investigation comes as a massive fire raged in the Evros region on Wednesday. At least 100 firefighters, two aeroplanes, and two helicopters were sent to Melia, in the north-east of the area, to help fight the blaze.

According to a report from Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the firefighters have had to face strong winds that have made it more difficult to get the fires in the region under control.

Giorgos Pistolas, an official in the nearby city of Alexandroupoli, said that firefighters had managed to prevent fires from spreading to a local village.

The investigation into possible foul play in the Evros region comes after Greek police made several arrests for arson in connection with the large-scale fire at the Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos last week that left more than 10,000 migrants homeless.

Early last week, several Greek officials had blamed arson for the Moria camp fire. This week, Greek media published video footage of what is alleged to be migrants using cardboard to spread the fire on the night the camp burned down.

Greek investigators arrested six migrants, all of them from Afghanistan, two claiming to be underage.

The Evros region is also associated with mass migration, seeing tens of thousands of migrants attempt to cross the land border with the assistance of the Turkish authorities earlier this year.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan shut the crisis down due to the Wuhan virus pandemic, but his regime has vowed to restart it once the crisis has abated.

Earlier this month, the Greek deputy minister of migration and asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, warned that activity along the border was once again increasing.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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