Tuesday 25.06.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Forest Ranger firefighters in Corfu this summer

02 May 2024 / 10:27

CORFU. They made their "debut" at a fire in Othoni - A Canadair plane also assisted.

Frontline 'warriors' in the battle against fires are reinforcing the existing forces of the Fire Department this summer for any serious fire that occurs on the island of Corfu. These are the recently established Forestry Operations Special Units (EMODE). The team, consisting of 30 individuals plus 6 permanent members from the Corfu Fire Department, was presented yesterday by the Ionian Islands Regional Fire Chief,, Fire Marshal Anastasios Karatzas.

Othoni fire

From the very first day they were stationed in Corfu, they were called out to a fire that broke out in Othoni yesterday evening.

A team of 12 EMODE members, led by Corfu Fire Chief Nikos Kollas, to the island by Coast Guard vessel. A Canadair plane also assisted in the firefighting operation from the air. The fire was extinguished, having burned approximately 3 - 4 stremma in the area near the lighthouse.

The 15th EMODE of Corfu and the 16th EMODE of Kefalonia are part of the total force of 10 Forestry Operations Special Units established in the country and consist of 30 scientific and technical personnel. EMODE will be housed at the Fire Department Building on Ioannis Andreadi Street and immediately took over its duties as yesterday, May 1, officially marked the beginning of the fire season.

At the fire front

The so-called "forest commandos" have the mission to operate as the Fire Department "Rapid Action" for forest fires, in order to intervene rapidly with lightweight portable equipment and to contain fires in their early stages in difficult forested or mountainous areas, where access by large water carriers is impossible.

The establishment of the new forest firefighting units - 'commando' teams that will intervene directly in the forest, was completed within 2022. They are trained and equipped to climb mountains with lightweight equipment including classic handheld firefighting tools such as backpack fire extinguishers, chainsaws, shovels, rakes, axes, and water sprayers, aiming to prevent the uncontrolled spread of fires before they reach regional roads or national highways.