The Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Vassilis Kikilias, held a broad meeting with all the involved bodies for the preparation of the upcoming fire fighting season at the Chios Fire Service, as part of his visit to the island.

Mr. Kikilias referred to the forest commando unit, about 40 forest commandos (Forest Protection Special Forces) being added to Chios to contribute “to the task of fighting forest fires”.

“It is very important for the island now, that an EMODE forest commando unit is added to the island of Chios, forest firefighters very important for us. It is estimated that there will be 40 forest commanders, so they will be added to the Fire Service and of course they will help much more in the work of fighting forest fires” said Mr. Kikilias.

At the same time, the minister called everyone’s attention, stressing that “Chios is a beautiful island, it has history, it has culture, it has power, it has tourism and the job of the Civil Protection of the Fire Brigade and all the security forces is to protect the island”.

Prevention actions for the fire season

In addition, the minister referred to prevention actions for the fire season, pointing out that prevention as well as treatment “is very important”. “In what has to do with prevention, we have defined a bill in the Parliament, we have made sure that all the forces can deal with situations that exist in advance. We will enter the forests with DEDDIE, ADMIE, the Ministry of Energy and Environment. A hundred meter perimeter around the camps should be shaved and with forest fire extinguishing zones in the summer and of course the citizens are also invited to contribute, to clean their plots of land, the periurban, periurban, their houses and take care so that we can all together to protect this beautiful island” pointed out Mr. Kikilias and added:

“For those who have either been indifferent in recent years, or because of that have been habitual arsonists, or do not respect our fellow citizens, nature and the protection of the island, as you now understand with the new criminal code, which was passed in the Greek parliament , it is no longer a misdemeanor or negligently causing a fire that leads to loss of human life or ecological destruction, but a felony punishable by ten years in prison and a 200,000 euro fine. So we will protect the many, our country and our island against those few who do not respect their fellow citizens, do not respect the island, do not respect the country, do not respect the property of the Greek people”.

For his part, ND MP Notis Mitarakis, accompanying Mr. Kikilias on his visit, said: “The message given by Vassilis Kikilias that the state will do its part in protecting public and private property is particularly critical , but citizens must also do their part, clean up their fields, protect the unnecessary use of fire in the summer, because we have unfortunately seen in previous summers many fires caused by negligence. I had the pleasure of working with Vassilis Kikilia not only as the Minister of Citizen Protection in the previous firefighting period but for many years and I always thank him for the interest he shows in the issues of Chios. We will also discuss some local issues such as the Eresos echelon, the relocation of the Kardamylos echelon, in the context of this visit.”

The meeting was attended by the commander PE.PY.D. North Aegean, archpyrarch Panagiotis Kypriotellis, the commander P.Y. N. Chios, fire chief Stavros Kapellaridis, the deputy commander P.Y. Chios, Chief of Police Apostolos Dilis, Chios Police Director, Ioannis Arabatzis, Commander 96 ADTE Chios, Brigadier Charalambos Ambatzidis, Chios Mayor, Ioannis Malafis, Chios Port Authority Commander, Vice Captain Pantelis Vatousis, Chios Deputy Regional Governor, Pantelis Vroulis, Director of Forestry of Chios, Thomais Koiloukou, the head of Civil Protection of the municipality of Chios, Nikolaos Vorrias, the appointed adviser of Civil Protection of the Municipality of Chios, Georgios Zoas, the director of DEDDIE, Georgios Kalamakis.

Afterwards, Mr. Kikilias will attend the official opening ceremony of a pilot program for the climate crisis, which is being prepared with the cooperation of the “Maria Tsakos” Charitable Foundation, the Hellenic Association for the Protection of the Marine Environment (HELMEPA) and the Latsis Foundation, with the aim of informing citizens about climate change.