Massive Wildfire Burns Athens

Athens is the capital of Greece. The city dwells constantly as a threatening wildfire, called an environmental disaster, approaches across the Pindus Mountains.

As the deadly fire is first spotted, thousands of the city's residents flee and evacuate their home. The flames spread quickly by the strong, unpredictable winds around the Greek capital. A thick haze of smoke soon fills the atmosphere. Other fires are also burning  in other Greek cities such as Grammatiko, Pendeli, and Varnavas.

Greece

The fire had been reported at the earliest, late Friday. Thousands of trees have been destroyed by the forest fires causing deforestation. Large areas of land that once held a plants are now cleared and deserted of life. The winds are harsh, throwing more fire across Greece. The air and atmosphere have grown further dangerous because it is more of a risk to breathe air closer to the fire. The oxygen supply is decreasing by the number of trees that disappear, and the burning fire creates ashes and smoke into the air, too.

Residents of Athens seem desperate to protect their homes.

A great loss it would be for them. The place they have lived in would burn, and soon they would need to buy a new house or find at least some kind of other protecting shelter. Lots have been able to evacuate houses before the fire caught up. Though others have died during the fire in homes. People have started to supply themselves with tools like extra hoses and more buckets in case of emergency. They have also been more cautious. One of the residents that had her house burned reported, "It's too much, the destruction is unbelievable," she said. "I could hardly recognize my own home … I don't know what to say."

Firefighter's efforts have been suspended for days. Fortunately for the people, most of his fierce fire was only burning mainly in the forest land. Though winds were still powerful, so many populated areas are still at risk. Many valued homes burned as a state of emergency was declared.

Several other countries located in the EU, like Italy, Cyprus, and France supported Greece by sending water supply, aircraft, as well as fire crews to better control the flames. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis praised the services for making a "superhuman effort". The EU (European Union) is a group of 27 countries in Europe that work together on economy, environment, and war, so because of this union, Greece is receiving help from other countries.

Athens_Fire

See the large amount of damage the wildfire has done to Greece? At least the country has help from the EU. Without this regional integration, Greece may have not received support. If there was no EU, do you think other countries of Europe would still help Greece?

Why do you think this country should be protected from the wildfire? Is helping other nations something that is worth spending your money on—especially in tight times?  What is there about Greece that's really worth protecting? 

Written by,

Banana Perspective

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About Bill Ferriter

I'm a real-live, bona-fide, full-time practicing classroom teacher. #takeTHAT
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14 Responses to Massive Wildfire Burns Athens

  1. Anna says:

    Very good article and very good blog. One important correction though: there were no casualties this year, no people died trying to protect their homes.

  2. Banana Perspective says:

    Anna said,”No people died trying to protect their homes.”
    Actually, I have researched an article that say some have died in their homes from heat stroke from the heat of the forest fires. I didn’t necessarily mean directly in the fire.
    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?ID=3511&method=full

  3. Great post, incoming Blurbers!
    I think that a system like the EU is a great way for countries to help each other. Unfortunately, the US doesn’t really belong to a system like this. The US belongs to an international version of this, which isn’t as good, because there is less incentive for other countries to help. For example, the forest fires in Greece could easily spread north, into Albania, Macedonia, or Bulgaria. However, the US is so large that if we were to have a huge forest fire, unless it were near the Mexican border, it isn’t likely that other countries would contribute much help. Also, countries would not typically give help to a nation that is much larger than them economically. The US’ economy is larger than every other economy in the world, and China is the closest. However, our economy is still almost twice as big as China’s, and is almost as big as all the countries in the EU combined. For this reason, a system like this wouldn’t work very well for the US. Another interesting fact is that the US currently is 9 trillion dollars in debt, which is more than half of our GDP of approximately 14.3 trillion. This is a major problem brought upon by the Bush administration. To be fair, not all of the debt is due to the Bush administration, because the housing market was already headed to bust because of irresponsible loans, but under the Bush administration, barriers were removed, which allowed people with insufficient credit to purchase houses. When they weren’t able to pay off their loans, it started a long spiral more steeply and quickly than if barriers were kept or added to, and the government had responded quickly to the problems. The Bush administration started office with a surplus of money, and ended with a deficit, to the best of my knowledge.
    Case in point: The US is too large to fit into an EU sort of program, but we still need to help others, in part because it is the right thing to do, and in part because it will help the world economy, which is closely tied to the US’ economy.
    Signed,
    The Blurb’s Senior Assistant Editor In Chief

  4. Marie Doherty says:

    Love your post. I teach 11/12 year olds in Ireland and we are going to start a blog this year I hope. I will definitely let them see your work as an example.
    Regarding Greece, I would like to think other countries would help even without the EU. The EU is certainly a great Union. Ireland has had a lot of help too.

  5. Sam says:

    Banana perspective wrote…
    Is helping other nations something that is worth spending your money on—especially in tight times?
    I think that it is very important to help others especially in tight times. I think this because if countries do not work together, than if one economy or country is falling than this affects every one else in their economy because of trade. So not caring about other countries and letting them fall will just cause you no good either. If you think about it the US is similar, if our economy is low (like right now) then we cant buy/trade as much to other countries. Then this causes those other countries economy to go down a little too. This leads to a chain reaction. So we need to care about our countries, even if they are nowhere near you. Do you think Countries should help each other out?
    Sighed
    Sam
    (Samantha)

  6. Mrs. Doherty said:
    I would like to think other countries would help even without the EU.
    I would disagree with that because the EU knows each other very well and it makes them united, unlike other countriees not in the EU. For example: Turkey and Greece are fighting over the island of Cyprus. Greece is in the EU but Turkey isn’t. See my point? They’re not working well with each other. So without the EU, almost every country in Europe will be fighting over something. So Greece may not recieve help from other countries without the EU.

  7. Monkey Man says:

    Sam wrote: Do you think Countries should help each other out?
    In my opinion it really depends. Do the two contries ever have problems with each other? Would the country helping be able to afford it themselves? Also what if the country can get through themselves? I’m not saying countries shouldn’t help each other at all but it really depends. If you had your own country and a nearby country was in trouble would you help them even if your country was in a financial crisis?
    Signed,
    Monkey Man

  8. surge and sing says:

    I think that just because Athens is a historical place doesn’t mean that we should help them. Athens was a giant part of history back then, but today all Athens really has for us are tourist attractions. We should not help them with the wildfires because sooner of later the Greeks will ask the EU for help and the EU really can’t say no; If the EU says no then the decision they made will eventually backfire one day. What do you think will happen to Athens if the EU doesn’t pitch in and help?
    Signed,
    Surge and Sing

  9. Ms. Mystery says:

    That was a very good post. I think that it is very dangerous for the people of Greece to stay and protect their homes because they could die. I know how much they care about their homes, but sometimes, you just have to let it go and protect you and your family. Especially if it means you might die. What would you do if your city was in danger? Would you protect your family or your home? Would you take the chances or stay safe?
    Singed,
    Ms. Mystery

  10. Nancy Blair says:

    Banana Perspective asks: Why do you think this country should be protected from the wildfire? Is helping other nations something that is worth spending your money on—especially in tight times? What is there about Greece that’s really worth protecting?
    Whew! Those are some BIG questions you are asking! Let’s focus on the first one.
    We visited Athens in September, 2007 when Greece was also afflicted with widespread wildfires. Although the city was not threatened during that fire, smoke and ash was visible and disturbed the air quality.
    There really isn’t any protection against wildfires for any country, particularly during times of drought. Wildfires occur all over the world (except Antarctica) in fairly predictable cycles (although man has certainly contributed to beginning many “unnatural” wildfires through carelessness and arson).
    In many cases, wildfire is necessary for growth and renewal of plant life. Much of the destruction and monetary loss results from people trying to inhabit areas prone to periodic wildfires, such as in the chaparral. For years, many farmers and agencies used “controlled burns” as a way of stimulating regeneration of some species of plant life.
    We visited Yellowstone National Park shortly after the fire in 1988 that affected more than 150,000 acres then revisited the park for the next two summers to witnesses the amazing recovery from the fire. Here is a link to an article on the Yellowstone fire that includes some information on fire ecology.
    Nicely done. I enjoy reading your class blog. Keep writing!

  11. Ms. Signed says:

    Banana Perspective said, “Is helping other nations something that is worth spending your money on—especially in tight times?”
    I think spending your money to help Greece is definitely worth it because if we don’t help, nations that trade and buy resources from Greece will be affected as well since Greece would be in a bad state. The economies would crash and it would cost even more money to fix all of the economies that were badly affected.
    But if we help Greece, it is more likely they may be able to better control the wildfire. It would be less likely that other connected countries to Greece would crash in economy because of the lack of trade and business.

  12. awsome27 says:

    This is a very nice blurb sam. You explain what is hapening in athens very good and please write more about what is happening over time.
    I wonder is the fire will stop soon?

  13. NEGATIVE MAN says:

    Sam said: I think that it is very important to help others especially in tight times. I think this because if countries do not work together, than if one economy or country is falling than this affects every one else in their economy because of trade.
    I agree to this statement, but the economy is bad for mostly every country in Europe now, do you really think other countries should be using tons of money in this economy? True that Athens was the birthplace of democracy, but that was then, this is now?
    Do you still think we should keep on providing help and not let Greece do the work?

  14. ghero says:

    I’ve heard that the sahera desert was once a butiful landscape; is this how it became a desert do you think that athens will become a barren desert?
    from the ghero

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