Greek Police Investigate Potential Arson as Wildfires Rage

This picture taken on August 5, 2021 shows flames rising from a fire spreading around Kapa

As wildfires rage across much of Greece, police say they are investigating possible arson attacks that may linked to fires in Athens and in Ilia.

One man has been taken into custody this week in connection to a wildfire north-east of Athens in Kryoneri. He is said to have been spending time in the area the fire started.

According to a report from the newspaper I Kathimerini, the man told investigators that he was in the area because he was helping firefighters.

According to some witnesses in Illia, they saw a man acting suspiciously in the area of a fire on a motorbike around three different areas that caught fire, while other media reports claim that two “incendiary devices” were found north of Athens.

Earlier this week, Greek authorities battled to save the site of the first ancient Olympics from the raging wildfires, located in Ilia.

Firefighters try to put out a fire as flames spread over a highway during a wildfire on August 5 2021 in northern Athens, Greece. (Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, meanwhile, linked the fires to climate change, saying: “If there are even a few people who have reservations about whether climate change is real, I call on them to come here and see the intensity of the phenomena.”

On Friday, Greek authorities were forced to evacuate a migrant camp of around 2,000 residents north of Athens due to the threat of a nearby wildfire and transferred them to another structure in Malakasa.

The ongoing wildfires claimed their first fatalities on Friday, with two people reported dead, including Konstantinos Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was found unconscious in a factory and confirmed deceased after being taken to a hospital.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis commented Friday on the situation saying, “We’re facing unprecedented conditions after several days of heatwave have turned the country into a powder keg.”

The heatwave accompanying the fires is believed to be the worst in the country since 1987.

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


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