2012 Chios Forest Fire

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2012 Chios Forest Fire
LocationGreece: Chios
Date(s)18 August 2012 – 28 August 2012[1]
Causeheat wave, suggested arson, and wind
Land useforest, groves of mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus var. chia)

The 2012 Chios Forest Fire was a wildfire that broke out in the southern half of the Greek island of Chios shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday 18 August 2012.[2]

The blaze threatened the army base near Vessas.[3] By the evening of 20 August it was reported that a total of nine villages had been evacuated as the fire continued to advance.[4]

By Monday 20 August local authorities reported that 7000 hectares (16,000 acres) of forest and farmland had been destroyed.[4] Official reports on 20 August added that many mastic trees in "Mastichochoria" region had been burned, one of few world sources of mastic resin, used in food, cosmetics and medicines. The beekeepers of Chios had lost 60 percent of their hives.[2]

About 360 firefighters, soldiers and volunteers were trying to control and extinguish the fires with the use of water-bombing planes and helicopters as well as 50 vehicles.[2] The Greek government had asked for the help of aircraft from Italy and Spain[4] to help not only with this but six other forest fires that broke out elsewhere in Greece on 19 August and five more on 20 August.[2]

Already on 18 August smoke from the fire was visible as far south as Crete, 350 kilometers (230 miles) away.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oikologikos apologismos pyrkagias chiou" (PDF) (in Greek). WWF. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Major fire on eastern Greek island of Chios" at boston.com (20 August 2012)
  3. ^ a b "Forest / Wild Fire in Greece on Saturday, 18 August, 2012 Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine" at RSOE EDIS
  4. ^ a b c "Wildfire sweeps across Greek island of Chios" at bbc.co.uk (20 August 2012)