Wildfires near Kranidi

The Amanzoe luxury hotel near Kranidi was evacuated on the evening of Monday 4th July after certain areas of the resort were damaged by a large wildfire that broke out in the nearby forest area of Korakia, and the strong winds brought it towards the hotel.  Around forty people, both visitors and employees, who were evacuated from the hotel were initially trapped at the beach area of the hotel complex.  According to the Fire Service, they were all succesfully transferred to safety in boats as the fire caused serious damage to some beach pavilions.  The Municipality of Ermionida deployed water tanks to assist the firefighters, as firefighters from Nafplio and Argos were deployed to help, as more forces from other areas of the Peloponnese were on their way to assist the Ermionida Fire Service and volunteers. 

There were reports that there are strong indications of arson, as a couple of minutes before the fire broke out in the forest next to the hotel, two other fires were started in two abandoned houses in the same area.  This meant that the firefighting forces were divided until the fires were extighuished in the first fires, resulting in a delay in arriving at the hotel.  A total of 53 wildfires were recorded throughout Greece in the last 24 hours, as the country is presently experiencing very strong winds and high temperatures.  The first contingent of a total of 200 EU forest firefighters started their mission on the previous Friday to assist the work of their Greek colleagues during the summer firefighting season.  These EU units, and their replacements, will be based in Athens, Larissa and Tripoli throughout July and August.

Tuesday 5th July:  Water-dumping helicopters are expected at first light in the Kranidi area where the Amanzoe luxury hotel was evacuated on Monday evening.  According to reports, the Amanzoe has sustained fire damage to some pavilions and the surrounding landscaped gardens, though the extent cannot be assessed by experts until the Fire Service gives the all-clear.  The fire is under control around the hotel, although the main firefront remains in the Korakia forest.  All the Amanzoe guests are safe and have been transferred to another hotel in the area.  The luxury hotel resort itself will close for further assessment.  Two men were arrested later on Tuesday in connection with the wildfire that burned for three days around the Korakia forest near Kranidi. 

The prelimery investigation showed that the two suspects were carrying out electrical work at a construction site in the area which caused a short circuit.  The men face charges of arson by negligence and will appear before a judge in Nafplio on Friday 8th July.

Saturday 9th July:  The Amanzoe hotel announced that a number of seaside villas reopened for guests, with several pavillions reopening from 21st July.  All services and facilities are now fully operational.  Amanzoe announced the areas reforestation, adding that for every new tree planted, the hotel intends to make an equivalent donation to the fire services that helped protect the resort from the blaze.  It went on to thank local authorities and volunteers for their assistance and their customers and guests for their continued support as the Amanzoe luxury hotel and resort celebrated its 10th birthday.